Democrats & Liberals Archives

Religious Free Speech

Bill Moyers, the intellectual giant of TV, began a PBS series of interviews with prominent writers on the subject of “Faith and Reason,” the most explosive issue of our times. On Friday, I listened closely as he and Salman Rushdie discussed the issue. I learned a lot about what we call free speech - especially it’s religious dimension.

I was impressed by 2 points Rushdie made:

  • PEOPLE ARE BASICALLY MORAL - They have a sense of right and wrong. Based on this, they each choose a religion or non-faith-based philosophy with which to express their morality. Morality comes first and religion second, not the other way round, as many believe. I like this way of looking at the situation because it allows all of us to consider and understand the views of everyone else. It leads the way to tolerance and empathy towards those who radically disagree with us.

  • FREE SPEECH PRECEDES ALL OTHER LIBERTIES - In U.S. believers and non-believers seem to lock horns all the time. Believers say that non-believers should respect their religion and allow them to follow its tenets in public. Non-believers retort that believers should not force their views on them. Here is Salman Rushdie's view:

    “It seems to me that when there is conflict between the liberty of speech and the beliefs of private individuals, the liberty of speech must always take precedence. Because otherwise every other liberty, including freedom of religious observance, is put into question.”
So the single most important ideal of the U.S is free speech. Without free speech, our entire democracy would disappear. With free speech, we have the solid pillar that supports different cultures, ethnicities, races, classes, sexes - and especially religions. As a Jew, Christian, Muslim or Buddhist, you can say whatever you wish about atheists or about other religionists. And so can the atheists say whatever they wish against any religious person.

But when it comes to telling others how to run their lives, when we try to impose our religious tenets upon others, we go too far. We are not merely speaking, but essentially ordering others to conform to our wishes.

This is not free speech. This is coercion - something that is inimical to our democracy.

Let's take a current problem: prayer in the schools. Some believers want to have prayer in schools. Whose prayer would you use: Jewish, Christian or Muslim? And how about all the different denominations? There are over 10,000 religions in the world. Is it possible to have a prayer that would satisfy all? And how about the 15% or so in the U.S. that are non-believers? In order to satisfy everybody, we do not allow any public prayer in the schools. Privately, anyone can pray any time he or she feels like it.

This is religious free speech - a boon to all Americans.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 24, 2006 8:37 PM
Comments
Comment #161418

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. “

H.L. Mencken

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 24, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #161425

Besides things like yelling fire in a theater or incitement to violence, you should be able to say whatever you want. Other have a right not to listen or to criticize and shun you. I oppose all hate speech codes (and most campus speech codes) and anything with the force of coercion that limits free speech.

Government should not impose prayer in school, but also should not prevent anyone from praying in any place where normal speech is allowed.

And of course you have no rigth to “proactive” speech. Nobody should be prevented from speaking (with the exceptions above) but we have no obligation to facilitate anyone’s speech.

These days restrictions on speech are more likely to come from the left than from the right. Conservatives are fighting speech codes and PC formulations every day.

Posted by: Jack at June 24, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #161430
These days restrictions on speech are more likely to come from the left than from the right. Conservatives are fighting speech codes and PC formulations every day.

Jack,

I am solidly on the left when it comes to social issues, but if what you say is true (?) then I say keep up the good work. I believe very strongly in individual rights to freedom of speech.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 24, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #161433

I caught some of that and seeing Rushdie again was quite a flashback.

What I walked away with from it is the insanity of religiosity itself. That such firm religious mandates as killing Rushdie still stand today. THe same way the Catholics still contained such conviction for centuries that jews killed Jesus.

Why in these specials on Islam, whether it be Moyers or another just admit to ourselves, despite the PC workshop, that Islam is just plain wacko, violent and a threat to human morality itself. I think if most people would shut-up about the Quran until they actually read it we’d get closer to these above talking points. That Islam is nuts!

I can hardly tolerate fundamentalist Christians as I do hope the find this rapture and get off channel 28 but that’s merely an irritation to their pomposity. But Islam itself is genuinely dark brutal stuff, it allows the brutalization of women, Clitoral mutilation, beheadings of infidels, murder in the name of its God—not to mention the insanity of 72 virgins. Islam is the world’s most violent bloodthirsty religion ever formed by the very essense of its writings and the very deeds of it’s religious leader/religious mass-murderer/tyrannical dictator, Mohammad himself.

The Israelis and their policies have this one right in Israel, this religion is bloodthirsty by nature and bent on nothing short of total conquest and domination even at the very safety of it’s own adherents to this faith. As much as I abhor the brutality upon an impoverished minority such as the Palestinians the very quest by which they act is about power and domination and nothing else.

Some get it—some don’t, I’d love to see peace with it at some point but the whole religion is about death, Death to the jew, Death to the west, death to the non-believer, Death to any muslims should they be sacrificed for the sake of their own domination of the region or of the earth itself.

What does such a religion offer the common good of humankind but a death threat by which they can rule by intimidation?

WE can tell ourselves we are fighting insurgents or Al Qaida in Iraq—the truth is we are fighting Islam and the interpretations it offers it’s followers of its own relationship with a concept of the divine. Only through education will it change in that part of the world—real education not three patrs Islam one part other carricula.

Yeah I’m gonna’ need a prescription for Zoloft or something after this post.

Posted by: Novenge at June 24, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #161434

Well, I’m for free speech too, but if I find someone reading Barry Goldwater at the top of his lungs underneath my bedroom window at three in the morning, I reserve the right to throw a bucket of water on him.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 24, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #161438

Jack?

What are they praying about at school they can’t pray about at the bus stop? It’s not liberals or the left that is inhibiting this at all. It is the very rules of being in a workplace. A workplaaaace, both a democratic and Republican bastion equally. Knock off the liberals are taking away our speech tripe—yer’ killin’ me.

Posted by: Novenge at June 24, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #161440
Islam is the world’s most violent bloodthirsty religion ever formed by the very essense of its writings and the very deeds of it’s religious leader/religious mass-murderer/tyrannical dictator, Mohammad himself.

Novenge,

I am not really that familiar with the Quran, but I can’t believe that it can be that much more violent than the Old Testement, where infants were ordered dashed to pieces by Jehovah and people were ordered to be killed for collecting firewood on the sabbath (among other silly crimes).

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 24, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #161444

I don’t know enough about Salman Rushdie to comment on him, and I don’t know or really care which came first. I do agree with you about religious freedom of speech however. No one can stop me from praying no matter where I am because my prayers are between me and my God.

Posted by: Tom D. at June 24, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #161451

Novenge

If the workplace or anywhere else allows people to speak in general, if people can talk to themselves and others w/o getting in trouble, there should be no reason to bother them about prayer. I am not treating it any better, but I see no reason to treat it any worse.

Posted by: Jack at June 24, 2006 9:53 PM
Comment #161459

Paul,

This is a tough one. Speech and religion combined. It’s kind of a brain buster. But, then again it shouldn’t be.

Here in the states it’s not required of anyone to say any prayer that I know of. I’m 54 years old and I don’t recall anyone ever holding my feet to the fire to get me to say nothing.

OTOH one of the foster homes I grew up in made me kind of uneasy just because I didn’t understand their rituals, but the parents in that family were understanding enough to explain what they were doing without trying to change my beliefs.

I think I’d question any religion that required someone outside their belief to follow a certain set of standards. The truth is tough but I’ve never seen that in my personal life other than from a Muslim famiy in Omaha.

Outside of that I’ve found simply bowing my head in respect is enough. I’ve never had anyone try and force me to say words I didn’t want to say. I’d hope no one ever did.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 24, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #161463

I don’t have a problem with people praying at work as long as they are not being disruptive.

I do have one question for the Christians in our audience, though. Christians seem to be outspoken in their support for public prayer. How do you reconcile that with Matthew 6:5: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 24, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #161465

“Here in the states it’s not required of anyone to say any prayer that I know of.”

Oops, I lied. I served as a “professional witness” at many criminal proceedings and I always found it odd that they’d have an agnostic (me) swear on a bible. So, I swore to ……. so help me god a lot with no belief, but I was always truthful never the less.

I still find that “non-discriminatory” because it doesn’t specify what “god” you profess to. OTOH since they have you hold your hand on the Bible I guess I may have violated the law.

Don’t tell anybody. I’ll keep it a secret if you will.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 24, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #161466

KansasDem,

I remember in school, there were always 1 or 2 kids who were from Jehovah Witness families. Their religious beliefs did not allow them to say the pledge of allegiance. While they were not made to say it, they were singled out and I am sure did not feel comfortable while everyone else said the pledge, everyone kinda looking over at them. Some teachers would even make them stand up and explain why they would not say the pledge. They were the only students made to explain their religious beliefs to the class.

I’m not sure this was a violation of anybody’s freedom of speech, but I certainly think it is wrong to make students feel that they must participate in such an exercise.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 24, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #161472

Jack? Can you pray while you work? I mean it is on the company’s dime. You can mop a floor and talk to Jesus right? The other thing is must it be such a big to-do? You know with the arms outstretched or forming a prayer circle and reciting verses outloud. Is that the only way God will listen to people? Might explain why that Ferrari and the lottery win hasn’t come yet.

Jay Jay Snowman,

I think the main difference is also in what it has become over the centuries too. The jews aren’t stoning people for sabbath violations anymore but in Islam it’s just the reverse. I agree religion especially that of the mediteranean and middle eastern variety is quirky to say the least. But Islam is still pretty inhumane and primative in these respects. I think the only cure is a balanced education so they can get beyond these superstitions they are inculcated to believe are the way things should be.

Posted by: Novenge at June 24, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #161479

JayJay,

I can understand that. While my daughter was doing active service in the National Guard my oldest grandson lived with me. Now, rememebr I live in 80% Republican country. His mom is Catholic and he’s been raised Catholic and I always made sure he made it to all of his Catholic rituals.

But he was living with me just before the 2004 elections and the school had a “mock” election and from listening to me he was the only one out of something like 80 students in 3 classes to vote for Kerry. He was somewhat devistated. Since his mom was in Kuwait it wasn’t as bad, because she was “in the service” and a “hero”, but I do get what you’re saying.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 24, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #161486

Good Post and interesting point of view, but Bill Moyers isn’t my idea of an intellectual giant. He was a speechwriter and politially active TV host and narrator. That doesn’t make him an intellectual giant. I like most of his stuff, but that’s stretching it.

Posted by: gergle at June 24, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #161495

Gergle,

Who would be considered an intellectual giant to you? Just out of curiosity. Please don’t say Bush or Cheney or it’s just gonna’ start up again here.

Posted by: Novenge at June 24, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #161496

Novenge

It doesn’t bother me if people pray. I would not make special accomadations for religion, but I would not bother people if it is part of what we usually let people do. If a bunch of people can get together to discuss their favorite NGO or saving the whales, they can also talk about Jesus.

As a rational guy, I never felt threatened by any religion. I suspect many of those most offended by prayer are not as rational. They suspect that they may indeed be headed to hell and that is why they get so mad.

I have been cursed by gypsies on dozens of occassions. Because I am certain they have no powers, I don’t care as long as they don’t phyically get in my way. The same goes for witches, vodoo, ghosts, astrology etc. Anybody who believes in these sorts of things is welcome to curse me or stick a doll with my name on it.

If you really don’t believe in it, who cares what they do? And if you are really po’ed by religion, maybe you are afraid they are right.

Posted by: Jack at June 24, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #161500

Jack

I am with you 100% until your last line. Maybe your differentiating between restrictions on free speech and criticism of free speech. As far as criticism of speech goes conservatives(at least those on the religious right) nearly have a corner on the market. They simply cannot let anyone say anything they do not aggree with.

Jay Jay

I’m glad you brought up Matthew 6:5. I am a Christian, That is I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, including this one. Prayer should be done privately or in groups of consenting people praying for a common purpose, not by people making a public show of it.

Posted by: mark at June 24, 2006 11:02 PM
Comment #161501

OFF TOPIC-JACK

Why do the gypsies keep cursing you?

Posted by: mark at June 24, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #161503
As a rational guy, I never felt threatened by any religion. I suspect many of those most offended by prayer are not as rational. They suspect that they may indeed be headed to hell and that is why they get so mad.

Jack,

If I had a dollar for everytime a Christian told me I was going to hell, I would be a rich man. OK, maybe not rich, but I could by a nice lunch.

I think this is really a non-issue when you are talking about adults. However, when you are talking about children, that is when things get sticky. I am absolutly against public prayer in public schools. Children are too impressionable and schools are no place for children to learn about religion. There is a reason there is a church on every street corner.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at June 24, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #161508

JayJay

Absolutely correct! My children learn about God in church and Sunday school where I am also present. No way do I want them learning about who knows what brand of religion in schools whether it be through education or prayer.

Posted by: mark at June 24, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #161509

Jack,

I agree but only on breaks okay? I have no problem with shows of religion personally. The bible thumping I can do without. But they aren’t praying that way out of faith they are praying out of an agenda they have. They want me to be born again and follow their religion so I don’t go to a fiery pit that isn’t even mentioned in the New Testament. And I just want to drink my coffee in peace.

If I talk about atheism in front of them or even evolution, they get insulted by me. So should I be restricted from a discussion of darwinism or how we need to preserve a women’s rights to choose? No I just don’t mention it—see they think we are the only ones who get insulted. If I say there is no God or plead a case for agnosticism or blame them for witchburnings and torturing innocent people they get insulted—should I be restricted???

If not I’ll tell Catholics how Pope Pius avidly supported Nazi-ism then.

Posted by: Novenge at June 24, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #161510
I am a Christian, That is I believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, including this one.

mark,

I too believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. However, apparently, according to the Christian right, I am not allowed to call myself a Christian because I reject the OT and do not believe in the dogmas and doctrines that Jesus never taught. I think we need to come up with a new name for those that follow the doctrines of man. Maybe, Paulitians? Paulines?

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 24, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #161513

Wait even better yet when they start I’ll tell them that they are in luck because I’m Jesus. That should be an ice breaker.

Posted by: Novenge at June 24, 2006 11:28 PM
Comment #161514

JayJay

I am no theologian but didn’t Jesus also reject some of the OT such as when he said instead of an eye for an eye to turn the other cheek. Tim Crow where are you?

Posted by: mark at June 24, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #161524

mark,

He did rebuke some of the OT including an eye for an eye, he said to love your enemies not hate them as in the OT. He worked on the Sabbath, breaking one of the ten commandments. When he recites the commandments he makes no mention of the first four. He also has some harsh words for the Jewish leaders of his time (Matthew 23).

That is from the scriptures that the Church allowed into the Bible. He says much more about who Jehovah, God of the OT, really is in the books that were excluded.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 12:03 AM
Comment #161525

What is it about everyone in here? Have they forgotten what it means to be an individual? Based on what i’ve seen written in here you would think we are nothing but members of a society and that society is imposing their will upon us. It has always been my belief that the founding fathers of this country saw us as individuals making up a society, each responsible for his own decisions and acts.

To say that prayer in schools is imposing one’s beliefs on another can only be foolish and that would include public schools also. If we can restrict prayer, which is the act of talking “freely” to God, then we have given the government the right to restrict our freedom to speak to anyone in regards to any issue or subject.

If in talking freely to God aloud is the imposition of a person’s beliefs upon another who wishes not to pray with them then each of you are trying to impose your political beliefs onto each other. by your standards we should only speak aloud our political beliefs when alone or with those who agree with what we say. For to speak them aloud in mixed company is sure to offend someone. Do we then impose those beliefs on those we offend?

Posted by: The Griper at June 25, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #161526

Jay,

How about “followers of Christ-fotainment”?

What the world needs is a new religion that is just about reinforcing love and the common good in all of us and bring about through kindness the common good to people in everyday life, and to search within each of us for that great inner potential and learn to love one another. No wait there’s no money in that—okay everyone wears a spacesuit…

Posted by: Novenge at June 25, 2006 12:05 AM
Comment #161528

The interface between freedom of speech and freedom of religion is delicate. If a person in a role of authority (eg teacher, boss, or, say, president)makes statements endorsing or espousing a religious belief, the issue of coersion arises.
Children are particularly susceptible, but adults, too can be placed in a very difficult position. When this kind of pressure is placed by an individual or group which has power of position particularly in a government run environment such as a school, the result is in conflict with the concept and practice of freedom of religion.

Since the right to not believe in a religion is part of religious freedom, I have to maintain that any time for prayers or prayers offered in a public setting are innappropriate.

It is also my belief that True Believers of any religion are capable of actions as violent and horrendous as those we have seen from the Islamic fundamentalists. The key is the belief that they alone possess Truth, and that anyone with a different belief is a lesser being, not the identity of the religion, itself.

Posted by: dana at June 25, 2006 12:08 AM
Comment #161532

Well, I’m for free speech too, but if I find someone reading Barry Goldwater at the top of his lungs underneath my bedroom window at three in the morning, I reserve the right to throw a bucket of water on him.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 24, 2006 09:30 PM

I’m liable to throw more than a bucket of water on them. And I don’t care who they’re reading.


No one can stop me from praying no matter where I am because my prayers are between me and my God.

Posted by: Tom D. at June 24, 2006 09:48 PM

I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!


JayJay
While I have no problem with public prayer I’m not a big fan of it as such. I’ve been to several events where they’ve had an invocation before the events. These are usually just a general type of thing. I really fail to see the need of them.
But to your question. I don’t try to reconcile Matthew 6:5 with public prayer unless you want to call my praying quietly in a restaurant before eating public prayer. I don’t.
Christ was telling us that our prayers are a private matter between us and God. And I believe that’s the way it should be.
However I see nothing wrong with schools starting the day with a minute or two of silence. If a kid wants to pray, OK. If they want to look out the window, OK. If they want to draw pictures, or do school work, OK. No one is forced to pray and no one leads in a prayer.
To tell the truth I don’t want my grandchildren to be taught how to pray or lead in prayer by someone that I totally disagree with religiously.
Just remember though. As long as there are test in schools. There will be prayer in schools.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 25, 2006 12:11 AM
Comment #161538

If we recognize ourselves as individuals then prayer is only between each of us and God regardless of the setting or even if it is prayer led by someone. The fact it is spoken silently or aloud does not change that.

The only difference is tolerence. In silence, our prayers need only be tolerated by God, spoken aloud requires the tolerence of those around us.

Posted by: The Griper at June 25, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #161539

Ron,

How much of a “to-do” is prayer though? “God don’t let me fall down that well”—there I’m done, two seconds. Maybe if they weren’t doing all that sinning God would like them more and thus the prayer could be shorter.

I gotta’ move on this topic is too silly.

Posted by: Novenge at June 25, 2006 12:33 AM
Comment #161540

Paul: As usual,interesting and well reasoned post. Thanks for mentioning the 10,000 other religions in the world.Judism,Christianity,ans Islam are all thoses patriachal desert religions that always seem to be fighting each other. Something to do with the desert,I imagine. Other religions appear much more fun.

Jack:The notion that most limitations are comming from the left is just silly. Blue nosed conservatives are trying to censor everything they can get their hands on, even the internet.
Speaking of which,I read a nice column today. The columnist wanted to test Chinas censorship so he set up a Chinese website and started spouting political heresy about Tianmin square etc. Most of it got posted. Seems they only have about 10,000 censores. Rough for them to get more because they would have to trust more to read things first. Thought you would like that.

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #161542

Ron,

Fair enough!

I would probably do more than throw a bucket of water on him too. We have freedom of speech, but sometimes there are consequences to our speech. Go to Downtown Detroit at night and freely use some racial epitaphs. Sure, you are free to do so, but you may not be leaving alive!

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #161546

JayJay
Now you are on a subject I know well. Wish I had more time this weekend:

|I too believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. However, apparently, according to the Christian right, I am not allowed to call myself a Christian because I reject the OT and do not believe in the dogmas and doctrines that Jesus never taught.|

There are 4 places that you find the teachings of Christ:Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John in the new testament.

In each one you will find that the majority of his teachings come from the Old Testament. I Will give a few, then encourage you to actually read his teachings to see for yourself:

I will start at the beginning in Matthew:
The second paragraph we have recorded of what he said:(His temptation)
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
from Dueteronomy 8:3

3rd thing said:
Mat 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Deut 6:16

4th thing said:
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Deut 6:13

Then we go on to the sermon on the mount (Matt 5-7)
JUST ONE OF A FEW:
Mat 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
Exodus20:14;Deut 5:18

Lets skip a few and go to the book of Mark:

Mar 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Isaiah 29:13

Luke?:

Luk 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
Isaiah 61:1,2

I could go on forever. Christ quoted the Old Testament where ever he went. This isn’t just politics now JayJay. I would encourage you to study yourself and look for truth.


Posted by: scott at June 25, 2006 12:53 AM
Comment #161547

Freedom of speech has not always been seen as important in this country. It has always been tenuious. The phrase,”Yelling fire in a crowded theater…” is from a Supreme court decision that upheld the sedition conviction of Eugene V. Debs, a prominent socialist orator,for opposeing the US entry into WW1. His crime was not his speech. It was that people were listening to him. I suspect there are many that would like to imprison Cindy Sheehan on the same basis. Pretty much ,you can say anything you want so long as not many people listen to you.

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 12:57 AM
Comment #161549

Mark

I used to live in E. Europe and there were lots of them on the streets. They often cursed those who did not give them money and/or they would say that they put a curse on you and offer to take it off for a small sum of money. That sort of thing bothered some people. One of my friends even told me that I should be afraid, since these guys were in league with the devil. “The devil is called lots of things, but not stupid. Why would he league up with the likes of these losers,” I told him.

Novenge

You can tell them whatever you want. They might not like you and if depend on them, it might be a bad idea. I don’t care how individuals respond (short of violence) but I don’t want to make speech illegal.

And you know that abortion is a type of evolution. Those who abort their babies put fewer children into the next generation. Eventually such people will disappear.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 1:02 AM
Comment #161559

Jack:

“The devil is called lots of things, but not stupid. Why would he league up with the likes of these losers,” I told him.

You’re absolutely right—I wouldn’t. I like my stupidity in higher places. More bang for your buck, if you get my drift.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 25, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #161562

Mark:

“Tim Crow where are you?”

It’s Saturday nite and I’m where I normally am—in a brothel discussing Nietzche and religious relics of dubious authenticity.

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 25, 2006 1:31 AM
Comment #161566

Jack: Your last statement on abortion is again just silly.Beneath you.You and your anti-choice colleages should spend some time in the Philipinines. The Catholic churh is politically very powerful there. Abortion is illegal in the constitution. Birth control is available but hard to get and expensive. Family planning is offically discouraged. Result,a massive population increase. The Philipines went from being the second largest economy in Asia to being one of the poorest countries in the world. Their chief export is people. Their natural resorces are being used at an alarming rate. Abortions still occur. Poisons are easily obtained, butchery is common resulting in untold deaths and mutilations of young women.What was outlawed was safe abortions. Another example of a Religion interfering in what is supposed to be a secular state. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 1:38 AM
Comment #161567

What is it about religion (organized) and faith (unorganized) that vexes liberals so?

Not long ago, my 6-year old son and a buddy were on the school playground looking at a rainbow. My son’s buddy wondered aloud, “Where do all the colors come from?”

My son said, “God makes them.”

A teacher was nearby and sternly told my son, “You can’t talk about God here!”

My 6-year old wasn’t holding a revival or trying to convert anyone. Was that reaction really necessary?

After hearing the story, my wife and I met with the principal and the teacher. The principal agreed that the teacher overreacted.

However, the teacher was unapologetic.

“This is a public school,” she said. “Religion has no place here.”

“Religion?”, I said. “What religion was my 6-year old son promoting?”

“Talking about God in school violates the US Constitution”, the teacher responded.

“Are you a lawyer as well as a first grade teacher?”, I asked.

“It’s in the Constitution”, she replied.

I asked the principal if the school library had a copy of the US Constitution.

“If so,” I said, “I’d like her to show me where that is written in the Constitution.”

“I don’t think we need to check the library”, the principal said.

“Your right,” I said, “because its not there. It says the Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of religion. Of religion, not from religion. And my son saying that God made the colors in a rainbow does not violate the Constitution no matter where he says it.”

I don’t attend church. But I do believe in God. And, I think the many wonders of nature, including rainbows, prove his existence.

Thats my right in America. And my sons too.

But, to liberals like that teacher on the playground, every vestige of faith must be eradicated.

Why?

What is it about God that scares you so?

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 25, 2006 1:40 AM
Comment #161569

JACK,

You got my point, religious folk get insulted as well by words. And they’ll argue back just like the liberals do and protest it in their own way. And not want it in the public square—humans are frought with such petty character foibles and Christians are no exception. But the other point is I don’t jam it down their throats what my beliefs are because of the hastle—they do out of wanting to invite the hastle so they can get in glib soundbites and whatnot and make some sort of conversion after totally pissing me off.

Another point I don’t go up to their door to do it either. Mormons seem to love my place and I have no idea why.

As far as abortion being evolution? Well again conservatives miss the point on what evolution exactly is, but I guess in a round about way—sure. Evolution means that traits are essentially changing not numbers rising or decreasing insignifigantly in circumspect to the whole. If humans got dorsal fins because of it—that’s evolution!

SCOTT,

Question: Hell being a pit of fire isn’t in there is it? With exception to Revelations being that everyone in that book is pretty much screwed anyway.

Posted by: Novenge at June 25, 2006 1:48 AM
Comment #161571

I’m a firm believer in the freedom of speech.

The Founders felt it was so important that they made this particular freedom the first listed in the Bill of Rights.

Liberals seek to restrict speech on college campuses and censor articles in student newspapers.

Liberals promote “political correctness” in all aspects of life.

Liberals label anything they don’t agree with as “hate speech”.

I love free speech. I’m glad liberals, greens and socialists freely speak on the issues of the day.

The more you explain your ideologies, the more popular conservatism gets. :-)

Posted by: Right-of-Way at June 25, 2006 1:51 AM
Comment #161577

Right of way,

I hope they yanked yer kid and beat him cuz that is a pretty dumb answer. No, I totally agree, lower grade school teachers are pretty bottom of the fishbowl with the IQ. At six he should know Jesus makes those to convert non-believers.

Posted by: Novenge at June 25, 2006 2:03 AM
Comment #161582

Novenge,

I don’t know what this has to do with the debate, but oh well:

Question: Hell being a pit of fire isn’t in there is it? With exception to Revelations being that everyone in that book is pretty much screwed anyway.


Mat 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Mat 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Posted by: scott at June 25, 2006 2:09 AM
Comment #161583
Christ quoted the Old Testament where ever he went.

scott,

It is no suprise that Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, he was a Jewish Rabbi and was well read in the OT. He did quote passages that reflected his message of love, he needed to speak in a way that his followers would understand. However, he also rebukes the portions of the Bible that do not fit into his teachings of Love, or were just plain silly. If God gave those laws to the people, why would Jesus rebuke them?

I do believe that there is some truth in the OT, however there is just some stuff that does not jive with the God of Love that Jesus talked about. When faced with this reality we have to make a decision. We can regard it as the absolute truth and follow blindly, we can assume that parts of the OT are true but somethings were inserted by men with an agenda, or we can conclude that the OT contains the truth and Jehovah is not who he claims to be. I tend to lean towards the 2nd or 3rd.

In fact, there is much evidence that it is the 3rd, based on other religious writings from the time period.

When deciding which parts are talking about the God of Love Jesus refers to and which are Jehovah, we only need to look to thier fruits.

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. ~Galatians 5: 19-22

The God of Jesus is Love. “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” ~1 john 4:8

We are told what love, therefore what God, is:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. ~1 John 4:18

Furthermore, we are told that God is Light:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. ~1 John 1:5

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. ~James 1:17
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. ~Matthew 5:9

Contrast that with what the OT tells us about Jehovah:

“Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” ~Exodus 34:14
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.
Woe unto you that desire the day of Jehovah! to what end is it for you? the day of Jehovah is darkness, and not light. ~Amos 5:18

Other passages describing Jehovah in darkness: 2 Samuel 22:12, Deuteronomy 5:22-23, Isaiah 45:3, Psalm 97:2, Jeremiah 13:16, Psalm 18:19, 2 Samuel 22:10, Ezekiel 32:8, Zophaniah 1:14-15

Jehovah is a man of war: Jehovah is his name. ~Exodus 15:3
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. Galatians 5: 19-22

Look what Jesus says to a group of Jews about their father:

Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. ~John 8:41-44

And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village. ~Luke 9:54-55

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them:

Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. ~Hosea 13:16

Obviously Jehovah is not anti-abortion.

Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. ~Isaiah 13: 15-16
Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. ~Psalms 137:9

This is just a small sample of the conflicts between Jehovah and the God described by Jesus.

Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 2:11 AM
Comment #161591

Jay Snowman,

Could there be a case to draw a conclusion that the Old Testament not be used based on the fact that it IS CLEARLY NOT the book of the gentile?

It shows all telltale of not being intended to be shared. Christianity makes it correlative if not user friendly but if clear case can be drawn that Jesus used it as theological crosscutting (no pun) then the New Testament should stand as it’s own and separate. The whole question is how strong is the evidence that Jesus used this to just be theological to describe other concepts or was he an itinerant Rabbi of sorts? He was a jew as well established, but was he of the jewish faith or using it merely to analogise?

Posted by: Novenge at June 25, 2006 2:51 AM
Comment #161592
The second paragraph we have recorded of what he said:(His temptation) Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God

Scott,

Matthew 4 is peculiar in that it is written in such a way to connect Jesus with the OT. I have a few questions about this. If Jesus was God, then how could he be tempted by Satan? That seems like a futile exercise.

Also, Matthew 4 claims that following his baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. There he fasts for forty days and forty nights. But in John 1 it says that John the Baptist saw Jesus the day after his baptism. Two of John’s Disciples leave with Jesus and spend the day with him. The day after that Jesus leaves for Galilee. There is no mention of Jesus being tempted by the devil.

Obviously, one of these accounts is wrong.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 3:06 AM
Comment #161596

Novenge,

That was debated by the early Church Fathers. Marcion(1st and 2nd century CE)was a leading advocate for rejecting the OT. He produced a Christian Bible absent the OT as well as removing all references to the OT from the NT. Obviously, that did not go over to well with the other Church leaders.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 4:11 AM
Comment #161597

Hmm. jay jay, here’s one for you by national geographic.called the last gospel of judas. they ascertain that the early translations left this out of the bible.at nationalgeographic.com/lostgospel

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 25, 2006 4:32 AM
Comment #161601

—From our distant past until present time, how many people have been killed in the name of Religion. Their are laws now against murder, but does any one believe attitudes have changed towards people of different persuasions and beliefs in today’s world.

Posted by: DAVID at June 25, 2006 6:03 AM
Comment #161606

you guys crack me up.

Equating “religion” with “faith” is impossible. Religion is a loose term that can describe any ritualized behavior. You can be religously Democrat or religously vegetarian. Faith, on the other hand, is a personal commitment to a higher power, God, Budda, Mohammed, etc…… Speaking about something so important is natural. Your kids and grandkids are extremely important to you, but the woman who chooses not to have children may find your constant bragging offensive. Does that stop you from discussing your family? No. Does that woman have to listen to you? No. If I choose to excercise my right to free speech by praying - quietly or aloud - that is my right. If I have an opportunity to share my belief with another person, that’s allowed - unless the person I’m talking to doesn’t want to hear it - then they can walk away. Are there fanatics? Yes. Do they speak for me? NO. That’s like saying Coulter speaks for all Republicans. A stupid assertion either way.

And for anyone who believes in the “basic morallity” of man - are you nuts? If man were basically moral and ethical, we wouldn’t need laws. Anyone here ever heard of “original sin”? It’s not just a religious concept. Don’t believe me? Put a cookie in front of a 2 year old and then tell him not to eat it - THEN walk away. That cookie will be gone in no time. That’s stealing. Not moral or ethical. Those traits are learned and society punishes breeches in moral behavior. Children are proof that rule of law is learned and that humans are basically greedy, selfish and self-serving - I don’t care how cute they are. My sons LEARNED the rules as I taught them, with the help of God and Faith.

For those of you who are sick of being told you’re going to hell……stop hanging out with people of faith. It’s not a condemnation - we’re trying to warn you. We’re speaking the truth as we know it.

Now, I’m off to church for a bit of ritualized worship with people of like faith. God bless.

Posted by: Ilsa at June 25, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #161607

Back to the free speech aspect, prayer in school and children—-I was a child of the ‘50’s and in our school a teacher began asking us to say the Lord’s prayer in school(common practice at the time) as well as the pledge. He then began subltly to talk about communism and how some adults were giving “aid to the enemy” and how to recognize it. It was very very subtle and many of the kids in the class got very hooked on this idea because he made it sound like we were all detectives and patriotic and turned it almost into a game. (I was in the 5th grade). Students began looking for signs from adults in their lives that they were communist and then the teacher gave out brochures and lists from teh house of unamerican activities. About this time, some of us who were a little aware of things, started sharing this information (whom the teacher told us not to, in the name of the “detective like game” we were playing with him) to our parents. Being in a fairly liberal/Jewish community, our parents got together immediately with the principal and the guy way fired right away and all the kids in school given talks about McCarthy and what was going on with the house of unamerican activities. ALl this to say, I agree, children are very very vulnerable. In elementary school they can be very frightened into beleiving that bad things will happen to them or their parents if they don’t beleive a certain way or do a certain thing.

Posted by: judye at June 25, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #161610

judye,

My youngest son was in a program called “Model UN”, kind of a debate team that took up issues facing the UN. Each student was a delegate and each school was assigned a country to represent. They had to argue based on the culture, religous leanings and political structure of that country. The teacher was a registered Democrat with intensely liberal ideologies. We are conservative and for the most part, lean towards a Republican point of view. My son started spouting liberal mantras that were verbatum from this teacher. Now this is in 2003. And High School. Teachers have always had a strong influance on kids. The parents’ job is to be viligant and involved in every aspect of a child’s education. This teacher was very good, but his introduction of his personal views, led to his dismissal. Was he a good teacher? Yes. Was he entitled to free speech? Yes. Did he have the right to teach personal beliefs? No. That’s why he was let go. Your post had nothing to do with the topic of religous free speech, but I believe it deserved a response.

Posted by: Ilsa at June 25, 2006 9:45 AM
Comment #161612

judye,

I just reread your post. You did mention the Lord’s Prayer - a Catholic prayer and that you were in a mostly Jewish community. Are you Jewish? Were you required to say the Lord’s prayer? If not, then your freedom of religion was not affected, nor your right of free speech. The teacher was wrong to interject his personal political opinions into the classroom, but it does not appear that your freedom of religion or speech was taken away.

Posted by: Ilsa at June 25, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #161621

Choosing a faith in the face of uncertainty is fine for those who want to, but remember many of us find it all a bit silly.

Posted by: OZ at June 25, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #161622

BillS

My statement on abortion is silly. It was not meant as a serious argument.

Of course, you may have read in Freakomics that abortion has helped lower the crime rate, since the poor losers who have most abortions would have produced other poor losers, a high percentage of whom would have become criminals.

Abortion is not practiced uniformly. It probably does impact different population groups differently. I am not an absolutist on abortion. Maybe those who have them are doing us all a favor by removing their defective genes from the next generation. Maybe that is intelligent design.

Novenge

Not to attack on a technicality but . . . I think you are actually misstating evolution and (inadvertently I suppose) advocating intelligent design. As I understand it, evolution is a statistical process where particular adaptations come to dominate by a process of slight advantages in particular situations and random chance. The best adaptation doesn’t always win out. If a superb individual has no offspring that survive, he is a failure from the evolutionary point of view.

So if people with particular characteristics that are heritable abort all their babies, their characteristics will disappear over time. We also have a kind of social evolution. People pass both their genes and the habits to their kids. To the extent that you eliminate your, you will have less in the next generation.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 11:03 AM
Comment #161631

I think any reasonable, thinking human being understands that evolution has gone beyond theory to become a scientific fact.

The imperial evidence is overwhelming.

The question, then, is evolution an accident or is it being guided by an intelligence?

Many gifted and respected scientists say it is a matter of survival of the fittest. Certain mutations have an advantage and survive where others cannot.

Ergo, over humdreds of millions of years, a simple bacteria evolved into a human being.

But other scientists, just as gifted and respected, look into their microscopes and see an intelligence at work behind the scenes.

Today, scientists are manipulating genetic material and creating new forms of life. It’s called an experiment: Keep what works and discard what doesn’t. In essence, they are guiding the evolutionary process.

Is it not possible that we ourselves may be the product of an experiment, an experiment of unimaginable scale?

Even Einstein left the door open on that question, when he said:

“To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is.”


Posted by: ulysses at June 25, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #161635

right-of-way:
i completely agree with you on the whole school incident. that teacher was way out of line. religion does not belong in schools, in that it should not be taught or promoted in the classroom by the staff. if children or staff choose to be religious, in any sense of the word, on their spare time or individually, then by all means do.

but, i find your generalizations about liberals insulting. one of the major problems with the media and public perceptions currently is that the extremist elements of both sides are portrayed as the majority of either party and both sides of the political spectrum. MOST of america right now is much more moderate and centrist than most people percieve them to be. liberals decry the far religious reactionary right, believing them to be majority of the republican and conservative party. conservatives are up in arms against the radicals but end up fighting liberals and democrats in general. i am deeply offended by your accusations that it is ‘liberals’ who restrict free speech, label anything different as evil, etc. that is a strategy of BOTH of the extremist elements. ‘politically correct’ is a phrase that has been overused, abused, and entirely changed from its original intent and meaning. but i also find that it is the reactionary faction of the republican party that has been continually restricting my rights since 9/11. yes, there was/is a threat, but the administration is grabbing at power, centralizing that power overmuch around the executive branch, and doing their best to take away ALL americans liberties.

“I love free speech. I’m glad liberals, greens and socialists freely speak on the issues of the day.

The more you explain your ideologies, the more popular conservatism gets. :-)”

first of all, socialism as a politcal movement is dead for all practical purposes in the world, and especially here in a first world country like america. you should not be equating socialists with liberals, it is like comparing facists with conservatives. secondly, the popularity of both liberals and conservatives is really a moot point currently because the democratic and republican parties have become, publically, puppets of the extremist elements. like i said, most people in america are moderates, so it is simply a matter of which party puts up a candidate more appealing to the more moderate public. recently my views have been shaken, challenged, and changed for the better. i don’t care if a republican or a democrat wins in the next election, i simply want someone who won’t continue to reactionalize the government or who won’t attempt to radicalize the system.
free speech is ALL we have here in america, it is the basis and foundation of everything else. too much of the public’s time is spent ignoring what those who disagree with them say and pushing aside anything that is not what they want. (michael moore (increasingly as time progresses), anne coulter, and bill o’reilly are a few examples; all of them leave a bit to be desired) i think you should take your own advice and open up a little more to those who think differently from you. most liberals do not fear god. i do not fear god, i am agnostic but still try to participate in my jewish community. what i fear is that the religious right, which is currently in power, will slowly remove my freedoms and attempt to impose their beliefs on me. of course, this is a little ridiculous, but it is becoming mroe and more prevalent as time progresses. just as you were insulted by your child’s teacher yelling at him for expressing his beliefs, i am insulted when others try to impose theirs on me: e.g. the recent attempts to ban homosexual marraige and abortion, the patriot act, and those who accuse me of being unpatriotic because i do not support the war in iraq.

i’d like to finish with two quotes…
“Stoop and you’ll be stepped on; stand tall and you’ll be shot at.” – Carlos A. Urbizo
“Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.” – Friedrich von Schiller

Posted by: alefnaught at June 25, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #161638

I meant empirical evidence, not emperial. I always get those two mixed up!

Posted by: ulysses at June 25, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #161645

judye

I couldn’t agree more. My husband went thru the same thing. Only in his public school, (If you can believe it) they actually took the entire class out of school, walked 2 blocks to a church and had church service for the kids, as a real class. He studied the Bible, and had to memorize verses and listen to Sunday School Stories. I was appauled when I hear this. I have never pushed my faith on him. But, finally after 30 years of talking about everything under the sun, we can finally talk about The Bible. And, I guess
that he isn’t an an Agnostic after all. (As he said he was, when we met). He’s actually a better “Christian” than I am. :-)

AND YES JUDYE, YOUR POST HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH RELIGIOUS FREE SPEECH, IN A SECULAR ENVIORNMENT (the public schools).

Ilsa

I don’t know what the “liberal mantras” were, but if they had anything to do
with that teachers belief in “God”, (or unbelief in God), it had no place in the classroom. And, if it had to to with his secular beliefs or his political beliefs, I would hope that he would have kept those beliefs to himself too.

Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #161646

BillS

“What was outlawed was safe abortions. Another example of a Religion interfering in what is supposed to be a secular state.”

Here here, I’ll drink to that. Just another reason why politics and God don’t mix. Good friends don’t let other friends, (vote with a Bible).

Right-of-way

The teacher over-reacted, and the Principle is a jerk. No one has a right to stiffle another persons “opinion”. Your child was not engaged in worship or a public display of worship. He was stateing his opinion. And that, the last time I checked, was protected under the Constitution.

You say, “The more you (liberals) explain your ideologies, the more popular conservatism gets.” I’d like to say that everytime one of you Conservatives opens his/her mouth to defend one of your own in this Administration, or your Conservative ideals, we liberals couldn’t ask for a better spokesperson for our campaign. THANK YOU!


Rodney Brown

Thanks for the link, i’ll look it up


Ilsa

Children do not steal cookies because they are wicked. They just take cookies because they like them. Weather you believe in God of not, it’s not that difficult to make your children aware of other people’s feelings, and how to get along with others. Nor, is it that difficult to teach your children their limits, or what is good for them to eat, or not to eat.

As far as the law punishing people for breeches in “moral” behavior. I do hope that it’s only behavior that harms or takes advantage of others. There are a lot of so called “immoral” behaviors that some Christians would like to have punished by our civil laws. I hope and pray that those Christians never get the job done. I hope that what ever a person does with their sex, how they have sex, with whom they have sex, and with respect to their gender, never gets legislated into civil law. As long as they do not engage in illegal sex with a minor, or have unconsentual sex, I think that the “Church” should pretty much stay out of sex, (in the secular arena).

Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #161647

Novenge

You are absolutely right! Next time they start on you, over your coffee break, you should just break into a wiccka chant and get out your book on the theory of evolution. That will either shut them up, or get them as irratated as you are. Either way, fair’s fair, right? :-)

And, don’t tell them you’re Jesus, it’ll just incourage them. That’ll really rile them up. Tell them your Santa Clause. Hey, he’s a secular kind of guy that is jolly and goes around doing good things and brings gifts. Most Christians believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny, and they believe that they are in the Bible. So, just say your “Santa” and they will think you’re one of them.

And, I have a great idea for you for Morman repellant. Get some yellow police type tape and string it all around your front door. Draw a chalk outline of a “body” and scatter some copies of the Watch Tower around. I think that they will get the point!

Griper

It’s not that praying in public should not be allowed. It’s just that praying should remain a private act. We all know that it’s rude to talk on a cell phone in a movie theatre. Well talking to God should be a private conversation too. I don’t go around showing pictures of my husband an my sex life in public. Well, my relationship with God is my own private business too. Others would be offended by seeing graphic photos (I know my husband would be). Then why is it a problem with some Christians to practice their religion in private? (You can pray in your head you know?) Do you really want religious freedom? Or, are you just trying to make others think that you are a better person. Showing God off in public, like that new sweater or car, won’t get you any points in heaven. And, if you want to gain respect from others, you’ve missed the mark. Some of us know enough about God and the Bible to be offended. And, you won’t convert those who don’t believe in God to your point of view. All you ARE going to do is to make a “show” of yourself. And, it’s not impressing anyone. God, or man.

And, I would disagree with you. You said “prayers aloud requires the tolerence of those around us”. I would change that to: Prayers spoken in silence are heard by God, while prayers spoken aloud require patience and tolerance from others and from God.

Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #161648

—You guys crack me up————ILSA, I specifically left out the word Faith, for a very good reason. You can spin and avoid the direct question if you like. I am sure you are not interested, if you are go to your nearest Encyclopedia an check under Wars OF Religion, the no Spin Book!

Posted by: DAVID at June 25, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #161649

Tim
What’s wrong with Berry Goldwater anyway? :-) Just kidding.


JayJay Matthew 6:5

As a Christian, I appreciate your comments. I’ve been saying that for years. I think as far as Christians and prayers in public goes? There are some Christians that, like other people, (Christian or Non), are just not happy until they irratate everyone else. And, I think it’s, on the part of some so called “Christian’s”, a dogma that they think it’s their job to be “out there winning souls”. (As if God couldn’t do THAT, without them.)

I too would love another name for “normal” Christians, those of us that don’t make a habit of trying to beat everyone we see over the head with a Bible of a cross. How about the SBG (Silent Believers of God)? We could know Biblical truths, but keep them to ourselves. You know, have the courtesy to let others find those truths for themselves? That way “The Truth” would be more relivent to our own lives. And, so much more meaningful because we found them for ourselves.

(However, you do have some of your facts wrong. Jesus never broke any of the Commandments. The Church elders accused him of it, but he didn’t. He did say, “love your enemys” and not to put out their eyes. But there is a big difference in teaching Love and teaching Justice. Sometimes one is exclusive of the other. And, you are right, Jesus never mentioned the first 4 Commandments. But, he didn’t mention the last 6 either. He summed them all up in just 2. These two summed up all 10 Commandments found in Exodus. He did not rebuke the OT or the “Law”, but rather he came to fulfilled it.)

You had some questions about Jesus being tempted by Satan. I’ll try to be brief. 1st we are a dule personality. The body and the spirit. God is a Trilogy. Body, Spirit, and the Devine. Christ was flesh, and so could be tempted. But, he was with God, and was God from the beginning. Read Gen.1:1. Christ is refered to here as “the Word”. Just as before the Creation, he was an Angel. As to how can Satan tempt God? The whole premis of the book of Job is built on just that. And, remember that Jesus was God made manifest (flesh), and he walked among us. So, therefore he could be tempted just like any of us. Else, he would not have been able to die on the cross, he could have just jumped down and walked away. Why did he allow himself to be tempted? Because he came to fulfill the Law, and he came to show us what kind of live to lead.

There is no discrepency in these two accounts comming from different angles. Matthew was maticulous as he saw things in black and white, as any accountant or bookkeeper would. John’s book comes from a spiritual angle. I’m afraid that John, by by-passing some of the facts, has committed the sin of omission. (I don’t think it was deliberate, just that he might not have found it important or he found that part of the missing time-line not relivent to the rest of his text). There are a lot of gaps in the Gospels about Jesus’s life between 9 and 30 too. But, that doesn’t mean anything either.

Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #161653

PlayNice— A master piece, good job well done.

Posted by: DAVID at June 25, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #161658
Jesus never broke any of the Commandments. The Church elders accused him of it, but he didn’t.

PlayNice,

When the Pharisees accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, he does not deny it, but instead changes the commandment to that you may do good on the Sabbath. I think we would agree that Jesus wants us to do good everyday, not just the Sabbath.

And, you are right, Jesus never mentioned the first 4 Commandments. But, he didn’t mention the last 6 either.

Actually, Jesus does mention the last 6 commandments in Matthew 19:16-19:

  • Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”

    “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”

    “Which ones?” the man inquired.

    Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

He drops the first four commandments and changes the 10th, from do not covet your neighbor’s things to Love your neighbor as yourself.

John’s book comes from a spiritual angle. I’m afraid that John, by by-passing some of the facts, has committed the sin of omission. (I don’t think it was deliberate, just that he might not have found it important or he found that part of the missing time-line not relivent to the rest of his text). There are a lot of gaps in the Gospels about Jesus’s life between 9 and 30 too. But, that doesn’t mean anything either.

That was a pretty big omission. I would think that Jesus being tempted by Satan would be a pretty big deal. It’s hard to believe that John would think it not important enough to mention. John says the John the Baptist saw Jesus the next day after his baptism, and that the day after that he left for Galilee. The timeline is not missing, there is no gap in John between the time that Jesus was Baptised and the time that he spends 40 days and nights in the desert being tempted by the devil in Matthew. The timeline simply contains a different account of what happened during that time. This is not simply an omission, one of these accounts is inacurate.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #161676

I said nothing about conservatives or liberals. Yet some of you cannot resist thinking in terms of a liberal/conservative standoff.

There is nothing liberal about free speech. There is nothing conservative about free speech. It’s in the Bill of Rights.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 25, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #161698

Jack: Abortion occurs at all economic and social levels. It has to do with circumstances, not genetics. There may be more economic pressure on the poor,just one reason anyone concerned about it should support a minimum wage increase. There are also social pressurs that effect the middle classes and the wealthy also. It should be noted that the wealthy have always had access to safe abortion for their daughters and mistresses,an “understanding “doctor or a trip to Europe etc. Can not recall the name but I read an antropoligist that was concerned that with the availability of family planning we are in danger of naturally selecting for the stupid,selfish and lazy.

Posted by: BillS at June 25, 2006 5:57 PM
Comment #161703

Jay

No, Jesus never broke any of God’s commandments. (Or, the Laws of Man). HE is the perfect Lamb, without sin, without blimish, The Christ.

Mark 2: 26 Now he went unto the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread (holy bread), which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also unto them which were with him.

Mark 2: 27 And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Mark 2: 28 Therefore, the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.

I see no change here. And this thread, and similar threads of this run all through the NT. He was honoring the Sabbath, for if God is Lord over us all, is not Christ (The Son of God) Lord also over the Sabbath?

Matthew 5;19 “Whoso ever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven…

Matthew 5: 18 “For Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

John 15: 10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

Just because he didn’t list them all, or he listed some, but not others, does not mean that he, in his life, and by his words or actions, broke any of God’s commandments, or incouraged others to break them. The first four (Ecodus) contain instructions on how we are to love God. The last 6 tell us how to love and get along with our fellow man.

But, in these two commandments, are embodied all of the ten commandments. “Ye are to love your neighbor as thyself, and Love the Lord thy God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind”. (Sorry, can not find the ref. text).

God brought us the “Law” and the penalty for breaking it. Christ brought us the “Spirit of the Law” (the interpretation), the heart of the Law. And, Christ brought us Redemption. (A way to be forgiven).

*****************************

I am really not concerned with the time line at all. There seams to be many places in the 4 Gospels where I’ve tried for years to get them to mesh or to line up. It’s just impossiable. Matthew starts with Jesus birth, I’m not sure that Mark mentions it at all. Many years ago I tried reading the Gospels and putting them together in a coheasive time line. I eventually gave up.

At a crime you can have 4 witnesses. They can all see the same thing, yet you can get 4 distinctly different stories. But, basically they will all be the same. (Hopefully, in essence.) The principle is the same, basically “the place was robbed”. The particulars do not change that fact.

I don’t think that it is really important. If Mark doesn’t have the story of christ’s birth, does that mean that Mark doesn’t think Christ was born? I doubt it. Jesus came to fulfill the Law, and the words, and foretelling of the Prophets. He came to give us the true interpretation of the law, the “spirit” of the law. (It’s not enough to not kill your brother, you shouldn’t wish him dead either.) The NT does not negate the OLD. Nothing has changed but the “penalty phase”. For:

God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 6:12 PM
Comment #161710

BillS

Abortion occurs in all groups but it is not randomly distributed. I don’t think it is genetic, but it certainly is behavior based. People who would have mulitiple abortions probably should and I hope not perpetuate their type.

Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #161719
No, Jesus never broke any of God’s commandments. (Or, the Laws of Man). HE is the perfect Lamb, without sin, without blimish, The Christ.

PlayNice,

You say that Jesus never broke one of God’s commandments, but what are God’s commandments? According to Jesus God’s commandment is Love, and love fullfills all the law. ~Romans 13:8-10

So whose laws are those listed in the OT, that call for death? Whose laws are those that have absolutly nothing to do with love? It all comes down to Jesus’ purpose, which was to save us, but save us from whom?

1John 3:8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.

Who is the devil?

  • Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

    Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. ~John 8:41-44

Jesus said this to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. Who were the Pharisees? The Pharisees along with the Scribes were responsible for the contents of the Old Testement. What did Jesus say about the teachers of the law and the Pharisees?

  • “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

    “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

    “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!

    “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.

Jesus said this about those responsible for teaching and preserving the OT? Ye are of your father the devil? Could it be that Jehovah is not who he claims to be? Is it possible that there are two different forces being talked about in the OT, that over time became melded into one?

Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #161737

JayJay

Awesome! Don’t stop. I’m getting quite an education.

Posted by: mark at June 25, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #161784

DAVID: Thank you so much for the very nice compliment.

JAY:

Wow, you don’t make it easy, do you? Where to start? I cann’t explain the whole Bible here. But, I’ll try to answer some of your questions.

1st, the Bible quotes that I posted last, are from Jesus words, and he said that he had “kept my Father’s commandments”. Jesus also said that not, “one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”. I really tend to believe this. That Jesus had not broken any of God’s commandments. And, that Jesus was quite clear that no law in no wise was “done away with”, not till “all be fulfilled”. (End of Days)

Now, what does this mean?

God’s commandments: Exodus 20: v1-17 These are “God’s Commandments”, written by the finger of God. And, you are right, God’s Commandments ARE love. Just as we love our children and provide guidelines for them to follow. These guides are not out of hate, but out of love. Rules to make our life easier, happier, “rules to live by” so that man can find peace, with God and his neighbor. If someone loves God, and truly loves his neighbor as he does himself, that love does fullfill all the requiorments of “the law”. (He is saved already).

God’s laws are laws of love for us to live by, to help us have a better relationship with God, and our fellow man. They are also laws of instruction. How to love and show devotion to God, (the first 4) how to be a better neighbor and love your fellow man, (the last 6). They are not really restrictive, but rather liberating. By following these laws, we are free of guilt, pride, greed, and yes “sin”. The wages of sin is death. Now it would take a book to talk about what is ment by “death”. But the standard answer is similar to “a seperation from God”. (Your neighbor isn’t going to like you very much, when you abuse him/her, and neither is God). If you want it to mean “death” in the true Christian sense, fine, just remember that Christ paid the price for your “sin” (death), already. So, your situation is not hopeless, if you “Repent”, and turn from your ways, to God’s ways.

God’s Law: Exodus 20: 1-17 THE 10 COMMANDMENTS (Laws of love, to teach us how to get alone with God and our fellow man.

Jesus Commandment: John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you”. (Also a law of love).

Civil Laws: Written by Moses and given to the Jewish People. Leviticus, (pretty much the whole book). Plus the Talmud, a inturpretation by church fathers of Leviticus. Also, refered to in the NT as, “in vain you worship me, following “traditions of men”. The church Elders, the Priests of the Jewish Church (Pharasees), and the church lawyers, and writers of the “law” (the Scribes). (Not unlike some of our Church leaders and teachers of today. And, I don’t have to tell you how Jesus felt about them). The scribes and the pharasees were in charge of the civil/man/civil, man-made laws. These ARE the law of “Moses”, because they were not written by the hand (finger) “of God”.

*The 10 Commandments were never done away with by the NT. If you ask any Christian today, Did Jesus do away with God’s laws? He will say, “Yes”. Then you will ask, then you don’t follow the 10 commandments? He will say, “No, we are living under grace not the law”. You say, You day OK, then which commandments are “ok” to break? He will be hard pressed to give you a answer. He might say “none” or he might not even know them.

Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #161786

Q&A:
Q: What are God’s commandments?
A: The 10 Commandments
Q: Which OT laws call for death?
A: The 10 Commadments.
Q: Whose laws in the OT have nothing to do with love”?
A: Moses - ie. Lev. - the Jewish tradition laws. (civil laws)
Q: Who are we to be ‘saved” from?
A: Ourselves.
Q: Who is the devil?
A: Satan, Lucifer, that old “Dragon”, he loves to see us in trouble
(In sin), because that makes us unhappy and seperated from
God.
Q: John 8:41-44? “If God were your Father, ye would love me”..
A: Not hard to understand. God’s children know him, just as God
knows his own children. And, not everyone that says, “I am of
God, (Christian) is. If these men were of God, surely God’s Son
would know his own siblings. But, they were of the old serpent
and Jesus, knew them not.

Scribes and Pharisees:

Jesus refered to the men of the OT as Prophets, or Patriarchs. He refered to the church leaders of his time as “Scribes and Pharisees”. Things that Jesus said about the “Pharisees”. (“Scribes”)

A) “You shut the kingdom of heaven..” Since Moses wrote the Lev. laws, the church elders had hundreds of years to add to them to make them so complicated that unless you were a church scholar, you couldn’t understand them. Let alone have time to do them all.

B) (I have not heard that one, but I’ll try). …”make him as much a son of hell as you are”. The church had evolved as an institution. A money making institution. Remember what Jesus did to the “Money-changers” in the temple? I think the church, in Jesus’ time, was not unlike the church of today. Much more concerned with the wealth and business of the church, than in providing God’s love and solice to HIS people.

C) (Ok, I guess I didn’t do too badly on “B”.) “..He who swears by heaven swears by god’s throne and by the one who sits on it”. The Church made it’s self more important (greater, more authority) than God. The money of the church gave it power, while the power of the spirit of the church (God) was forgotten. The sacrifice or gifts of man were to be made to the church, and God was left wanting. (Man, this is starting to feel sooo familiar!)

D) “You give a 10th of your spices…But, you have neglected the law, justice, mercy and faithfulness.” (Man, I don’t even have to explain this one! The church hasn’t changed much in 2,000 years has it?)

E) “..You clean the outside of the cup and dish…” You are rotten to the core. You clean the outside but leave the inside dirty (in sin). What is sin? Self indulgence, and greed. Our modern churches look quite nice on the outside too. But, scratch the surface, and you won’t find a “Godly” sight, not one of love, forgivness, self sacrifice, and tolerance.

F) …”whitewashed tombs”. (Same as “E”) The church looked beautiful on the outside, and righteous, be on the inside are “dead bones”, hypocrisy and wickedness. Dang, I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty sick of Jesus trashing our modern day Christian Churches.

G) Jesus foretells the blood of the prophets and wise men (the deciples) to come upon the church’s hands..”upon this generation”. (In this time).

No, those he spoke of were not of the “OT”, but it was an enditement for the church of his day.

“Ye are of your father the devil”. These men of the church, who claimed to be “of God”, were not of God, but of the old deciever, the devil.

How do we know today if those that claim to have God’s “Word’ are real? The same way Christ advised us. “By their fruits, ye shall know them”. Just as God knows each and every one of us, and just as we will know Him, when we see Him, (or any manifstation of Him).

For it is imposiable for God to lie…”If it were not true, I would have told you”. And, it is impossiable for Satan to be honest in his dealings with us. “For he was a lier from the beginning”.

Build not up your treasures in the golden temples, but give your treasures freely to all that seek HIM. And, fill your storehouses with the love of the Lord. (Just my paraphrase, sorry)

Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 11:56 PM
Comment #161787

Jay,
You mean my argument is only as good as a 1st or 2nd century Roman theologian? (kidding)

I think there is a good argument for the removal of the OT based primarily on the attitudes of the Torah itself. It is a book about the jews exclusively as it pertains, with stories of jewish history, all in the written language of the Jews. The god of the OT is certainly different from Jesus’ “The father” which has a “holy spirit” component which makes it far different from YHVH. The question is of Jesus’ affiliation to Judaism, was it genuine orthodoxy? Certainly not. Mere liberal revisionism with new liberties? Or constitutionally a whole new foundational form that should take nothing from the Torah with exception to what it attempts to connect to Judaically to either explain concepts or prop its messiah-hood up on. I was raised essentially non-churchgoing so your knowledge of this scripturally would be better than mine. I wouldn’t know where to start or what to read to justify the Torah’s release from Christian doctrine. The Jews are so used in all of this and without them even present in their own discussion about their own books.

Playnice,
I also have a few Christian Fundie relatives too, what’s the use they’ll eventually get in but they haven’t heard that I’m Jesus yet. I expect any of them would smile nervously and slowly back out of the room very quietly on that cue. If I said I was Santa they would set up an exorcism and start pitching holywater. And the chalk outline idea—sheer genius! Bravo!

Jack,
I know what evolution is. I said “yes—in a round about way”.

Posted by: Novenge at June 26, 2006 12:02 AM
Comment #161788

Novenge
Prayer shouldn’t be any really big to-do at all. No more than you or me talking to each other. Prayer is man talking to his God.
One thing I’ve never understood is folks talk to each other in everyday language. But listen to some folks pray in Church and they use a lot of thees, thous, and thines. Like they think maybe God don’t understand common everyday English or something? Or are they making a big to-do over it?


JayJay
Your right, you have the freedom to go downtown Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, or any other place and shout racial slurs. And you also have the right to suffer the consequences of it.
If I was to go out on the street corner and pray at the top of my lungs I don’t think anyone would slug me, then again someone might. Either way I’m going to suffer some consequences for doing it.


Posted by: Ron Brown at June 26, 2006 12:07 AM
Comment #161794

PLay nice,

The Bible doesn’t actually call him Lucifer? Isn’t that an abberation on Goddess Diana who was said to divide the night—whatever that meant. My knowledge is more or less scattergories over here.

It’s also claimed that it’s basis is on the Planet Venus—the morning star.

AS I see it there are first alot of tacky things to get rid of before propping it up. Such as the rising out of their graves stuff (hoo boy) or Mary floating on up to heaven like a hotair baloon. The devil is a definitely rediculous esoteric ball of weirdness. Why do we protect such books when they are frought with such litanous rediculous anomalies? All these things make the divine birth look remotely plausible in comparison. Christians literally did teach that people would come out of their graves—is that not bonkers?

Satan a fallen angel from the story of Job that no one has heard hyde nor hair of since its writing, popping up in front of Jesus over a fourty day fast which would have made him see just about anything out there.

My point is that we may be arguing over an icon and a faith that gives hope instead of questioning what was really quite “off” about all of it.

All staking claim to Jesus and how backwards the churches are but like, what about heaven coming down like a tablecloth basically squashing things, that’s pretty backwards too. I know a good deal is allegorical but it has some serious wackiness to it that people excuse out of wanting that hope.

I mean I find it somewhat reverous or enchanting too but so do I find the Arthurian quests, Legend of Rollo or even Starwars to have the same qualities (not all Star Wars—egad). But as we search to find bemusings to fill the gap in knowledge between life and death the unknowable should we not get into the questions of the whole “what the hell did you say you did?” factor before we defend the roost from the liturgical invaders within who just don’t get it? we may not get it either.

I think it just says the word “love” four thousand times and we are to some extent blinded by it. Just a sacreligious couple o’ thoughts.

Posted by: Novenge at June 26, 2006 12:41 AM
Comment #161799

PlayNice,

I think we are closer to being on the same page. I do not disagree with your last post. The law of the OT is made up of three parts, the law of God, the law of Moses (Matt 19:8), and the laws of Tradition (Matt 15:4-9).

Further there is a division within the laws of God. The laws that Jesus came to fulfill and perfect with love (Matt 5:17), the laws which go against the nature of The Father (an eye for an eye, persue your enemies, etc.) which Jesus abolished (Ephesians 2:15). And sybolic laws, such as offerings and sacrifices, which were abolished in their old literal sense, but continue in their new symbolic meanings (1 Corinthians 5:7-8, Romans 7:6).

The law is really a secondary concern of mine though, my main concern with the OT is who is Jehovah?

Jesus says this in Matthew 12:

  • “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

    And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?”

I would assume that those laws also apply to God. How could a God of Pure Love be divided against himself and stand? How could a God of Pure Love order mass genocide and things like this:

  • Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. ~Hosea 13:16

God never ordered such attrocities. He couldn’t, they go against his nature.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 26, 2006 1:49 AM
Comment #161800

Novenge—Are these words from memory or are they from pages in front of you? I guess I am amazed by what I see on these last few posts I just don’t remember so much information cumming at me in down to earth explanation’s am speechless! great job. Put it in Book form.

Posted by: DAVID at June 26, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #161801

Ron Brown,

I guess it’s a matter of what you do with your to-do. I don’t know, it’s not my place to judge someone else’s faith. If it brings out their willingness to bear forth good in the world and help those around them who need it—I say keep up one’s own big to-dos. I have no problem with other people’s faiths, I’ve had my own religious excursions too but strangely few big to-dos or willingness to do a to-do. I think I always kept it personal not postumous. Not that I have anything against a to-do, maybe I need some.

Posted by: Novenge at June 26, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #161803

—Jay jay an PlayNice It’s nice to hear your views on this subject different than cumming from some dark robed person. Besides, the holy spirit must have given the spinmeisters the boot, long enough to get the message out. Enjoyed the post. DAVID

Posted by: DAVID at June 26, 2006 2:03 AM
Comment #161806

David,
Thanks for the compliment, I’m just pitching in a few thoughts just being genuinely annoying.

Jay Jay,

I concur it’s obviously another God persona, is there case on Jesus though that draws that division? By that I mean Jesus giving some sense of what he is in terms of contrast to the Jewish orthodoxy other than purportedly their owner (Messiah). I think that’s what keeps it attached is that Jesus draws no distinctual lines to it but the claim being staked that he was messiah. So if he is the Jewish “messiah” and is in connection to the Torah on that basis, the OT stays?

If it can be proved that Jesus wanted to take over Judaism—he owns it—it is attached. I mean he wanted the temple brought down for one. He criticized the whole system and change the entire direction of it. Even though it is a different “God persona” he wanted to take it over which is why the messiah claims were made.

I mean for all intents and purposes he could have said he was Orpheus, that man was on a mission to take over the temple and bring down its walls. this might be ownership or it could be grounds for dismissal of the OT somewhat being that he wanted to change it.

That is such a difficult question due to all the contradictions.

Posted by: Novenge at June 26, 2006 2:34 AM
Comment #161834

Novenge

Well said. I know, there is a lot of “off” about it. Just look at the Bible in terms of looking at Nostradamus’ work. I mean seriously look at that stuff! Some people just see a lot of jibberish, that could well apply to anything, and they like devine future predictions out of that stuff. I mean, it could come true? They say some of it has come about. But who could tell? It’s so obscure, it could “mean” anything.

Now take Nostradamus and say it was written by over 100 people. Mind blowing ain’t it? You got real wackiness there!. Now you got over 100 people going looney-tune, but over many centuries, even millinia. Wow! That’s a lot of garbage to sift through to try to come up with a little bit of “truth”. Maybe this might go a long way to explain why some so called
“Christians” are much “whackier” than others.

Now, mix in some self serving “Priest” or Rabbi, who’s only mission according to him is to “be a holy man and preach God’s word”, while all the while the world/Satan is tugging on him to do the “Churches Work”, which explained properly in their mind, isn’t to “feed the people”, but to get as much money in the cauffers as possiable?

Now, you got a really whacked up, screwy mess. You know? Wouldn’t it have been much better if Jesus would have just come down and talked to us each personally to straighten us out? No parlor games where one tells one and they tell another and so on. I mean, just come on down and tell me the skinny!

You know, if I ever get there???? I’m gonna put that in the suggestion box….. for next time! “Come for a visit, don’t give us a book”. A book with all these contradictions, is just too complicated for us to follow.

Maybe it’s because it’s a book that is ment to be read by the heart, and not the head. And, sence we each have a different heart/spirit, we see it in different ways. We pick out of it our own special brand of “truth” (Or, maybe, just maybe, …some of us are just good at heart - naturally, and some of us are just…. well, A-holes!)

Posted by: PlayNice at June 26, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #161846

Jay

First off I want to say, no matter what transpires from here, that I have really enjoyed our conversation. THANK YOU! Also, I want to tell you that I am stateing what I know to be “the truth” and in no wise should be confused with what you know to be “the truth”. And, it’s not for anyone to have a cornerstone on the truth. The truth for you, is what YOU KNOW, it to be. Here’s my philosophy:

The truth is like the wise man from an Eastern Philosophy once said:

“The truth is like?
The TRUTH, is like this:
Those that say “the truth”, don’t know the truth, and those that know the truth, can’t say the truth.”

So thank you for letting me share My Truth.

Your right, a God of “Love” could not have ordered such attrocities. However, it would not be unusual for a “church” to do many attrocities in the Name of God. Heck, history teaches us that.

(Oral Roberts speaks to God, and God puts a 12 foot statue of Jesus in his front yard, (for crips sake), I talk to God (in my prayers), and HE’s never given me a 12’ Jesus).

But, also remember, God is also a God of Justice as well as love. Remember the flood? But, who is to say that the attrocities were from God? From the ancient writers of the Bible that were human with human error or misunderstandings? Who is going to say that these were the “hand of God” ie, flood, or the pilar of salt thing, or of man’s evil inturpertation of God? Who is to say if these things were “just”?

“Who is a man, that he can “judge” God?”

Yes there is a stark difference in the OT vs the NT. There is a difference in the God of the old, and the Jesus in the new.

I would like to take time to go over your two points and discuss them at length. But, time is running short for me as it is Monday morning and I have to go now. With a day of thought, I will post again tonight.
:-)

Posted by: PlayNice at June 26, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #161855

Right-of-way…

Your story about your kid in school and the rainbow comment is bogus. I’ve read the same madeup story in countless rightwing publications and blogs. You read about it somewhere else, where it was also a lie, and then rewrote it on this blog to push your agenda. This is true of countless stories about PC gone amoke, the vast majority are misrepresentations or made up stories. Nice try though.

Tom

Posted by: Tom Allen at June 26, 2006 11:50 AM
Comment #161879

I, for the first time agree with the man, I felt good about his answers concerning free speech.

Posted by: Jim Lozano at June 26, 2006 1:54 PM
Comment #161902
Islam is the world’s most violent bloodthirsty religion ever formed…. -Novenge at June 24, 2006 09:29 PM

Did you forget the brutatlity of the Ordeals during the Inquisition? The Inquisition was an expression of Christian Biblical beliefs much like the Muslims are expressing their faith. Their brutality will be dealt with in a way they cannot predict because they are blinded by the belief that they have God on their side.

This is the modern age and they need to accept it or we will all lose many, many lives and they will find out if those virgins are there or not.

Posted by: Guy at June 26, 2006 3:02 PM
Comment #161905
THANK YOU!

PlayNice,

No, No, THANK YOU! I appreciate hearing a different perspective. Each new perspective brings us one step closer to the truth. It is refreshing to discuss these things with someone who actually puts some thought into them, not just repeat the same old dogmas. I have been on a spiritual journey for a little over 5 years, I am not the type who can just have blind faith without knowing what or who I have faith in.

I have studied not just the Bible but also the history of the Bible, as well as the history of the early church (brutal). I have studied the Gnostic texts found in Nag Hammadi as well as some of the writings of the early church fathers. I have tried to approach my journey with an open mind and absorb as many different perspectives as I can.

What I have learned is that what is contained in the canonical Bible only scratches the surface. Spirituality is both complicated and simple. Spiritual truths will not be found in dogmas or doctrines, but in the Holy Spirit.

“Who is a man, that he can “judge” God?”

I do not say the things I do about Jehovah to judge, but to know the truth.

  • Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. ~Matthew 7:7-8

This saying, and the one similar to it in the Gospel of Thomas, has been the cornerstone of my spiritual journey. I would hate to worship a deity only to find out when it was too late that he was not who he claimed to be. Especially, if the truth was made accessible to us if we would have only sought it.

I agree with you that we all need to find our own truth. What a much better world this would be if people actually worked to find the truth instead of allowing someone behind a pulpit tell him or her what to think the truth is.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 26, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #161913

If it’s any consolence, although the topic has changed to Biblical Interpretation, everyone seems uninhindered when it comes to free speech.

Posted by: DOC at June 26, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #161916

“Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’

He drops the first four commandments and changes the 10th, from do not covet your neighbor’s things to Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Hi Jay Jay - loved the post between yourself and playnice. Just a quick question:

In my Catholic Sunday School we were taught (in abbreviated version):

#1 only one god
#2 don’t use the lord name in vain
#3 keep holy the sabbath day
#4 honor thy mother and thy father
#5 don’t kill
#6 don’t commit adultry
#7 don’t steal
#8 don’t lie
#9 don’t covet thy neighbor
#10 don’t covet thy neighbor’s goods

At least in Western PA, #4 is taught as: “honor thy mother and thy father” and you quote the scripture, but according to my teachings, you contradict yourself on the notion that Jesus doesn’t mention the 1st four.

Posted by: Lisa C. at June 26, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #161947

Lisa C.

Thanks! To answer your question, I am not Catholic, so I am not sure why, but the commandments are divided differently by the Lutheran & Catholic Churches. Catholics combine the 2nd into the 1st. and make “Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife” as a seperate commandment. The division I was refering to is the Jewish division and is the division that Jesus would have known. From Exodus 20:

  • And God spake all these words, saying,

    I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    1 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    2 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    3Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    4Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

    But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

    For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    5 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    6 Thou shalt not kill.

    7 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

    8 Thou shalt not steal.

    9 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

    10 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

When Jesus is asked directly which commandments must be kept for salvation he makes no mention of the first four as above.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 26, 2006 5:19 PM
Comment #161995
Hmm. jay jay, here’s one for you by national geographic.called the last gospel of judas. they ascertain that the early translations left this out of the bible.at nationalgeographic.com/lostgospel

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 25, 2006 04:32 AM

When Constantine had the Council of Nicea meet they decided after much debate and argument what books would go in the Bible. There are a great many works, epistles and gospels, left out of the Bible. The Gospel of Judas is just the latest “new” discovery.

Posted by: Guy at June 26, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #162002

Playnice,

I didn’t mean to insult your faith, primarily it’s in asking why not shore up some things? 100 hands 100 typewriters makes sense. I just think there is a drive in all of us to seek the good message and disavow the bad or wacky when it comes to the art of beautful sounding words being in abundance. Which might also explain Ronald Reagan worship.

Jay,

“Jahova” (actually Jahova is a mistaken translation done by Europeans, ask any jew) Okay “Jahova” is a different God, quite well established. But if Jesus is of messiah-hood then that goes for owning the old religion too doesn’t it?

Plus if Jesus is rewriting the ten commandments, isn’t that a show of wanting to take over messiah-ship hence Judaism. Hence that is where “Jahova” and the OT stays attached. It’s not the way I’d have in neccessarily, but that might be the way it is for a reason.

I get a sense that these posts aren’t about proving anything but reaffirming foundational vestiges of faith in how you prefer to see this narrative—and there’s an enchantment in that, otherwise called ‘church’. I know you are conflicted about God-personas and Jahova doesn’t meet with Modern Christian morality—I got ya’. But I thought the original quest was to remove the OT or find ecumenical or logistical case to do such? If not what are you trying to prove or disprove beyond personality of God-head and to what end does it serve?

Posted by: Novenge at June 26, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #162003

Guy,

Constantine had the Council of Nicea meet to decide the divinity of Jesus. They decided that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. They did not decide which books would be in the canon.

The first meeting to decide on a canon was the Synod of Hippo in 393 and the books of the Bible did not receive full canonical status by the Roman Catholic Church until AD 1546 at the Council of Trent.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 26, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #162007

Novenge,

I apologize, I am not trying to prove or disprove anything. I was simply interested in discussing and getting others thoughts and perspectives on the subject. I do not see the need to remove or disinfrancise the OT from the NT. What is needed is understanding. From my perspective I do not think that understanding can come from the canonical Bible alone.

I also don’t think that Jesus was trying to take over Judaism, I think he was offering a choice. If God wanted Christ to take over Judaism, he would have.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 26, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #162010

“Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” -Posted by: scott at June 25, 2006 12:53 AM

I’ve always found this passage to be quite disturbing. So human nature, which must be created by God, counts for nothing?

“And you know that abortion is a type of evolution. Those who abort their babies put fewer children into the next generation. Eventually such people will disappear.” -Posted by: Jack at June 25, 2006 01:02 AM

Then they should all be gone by now. Abortion has been a practice for all of recorded history.

“It is no suprise that Jesus quoted from the Old Testament, he was a Jewish Rabbi and was well read in the OT.” -Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 02:11 AM

What about Hebrews 8:4: “Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law…” ?

“If Jesus was God, then how could he be tempted by Satan? That seems like a futile exercise.” -Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 25, 2006 03:06 AM

There are over a dozen beliefs of half men/half god that came for salvation. They were considered fully human and fully god so that they could be intermediaries for all mankind. (You mention that below in a reply to me.)

“For those of you who are sick of being told you’re going to hell……stop hanging out with people of faith. It’s not a condemnation - we’re trying to warn you. We’re speaking the truth as we know it.” -Posted by: Ilsa at June 25, 2006 09:21 AM

This is what disturbs me about Christian beliefs. A God creates man and gives them free will, then tells them to worship Him or be thrown into a lake of fire for eternity. Sound like coercion to anyone?

“And, I have a great idea for you for Morman repellant. Get some yellow police type tape and string it all around your front door. Draw a chalk outline of a “body” and scatter some copies of the Watch Tower around. I think that they will get the point!” -Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 01:46 PM

Damn good idea! Thank you!

1) “I too would love another name for “normal” Christians, those of us that don’t make a habit of trying to beat everyone we see over the head with a Bible of a cross. How about the SBG (Silent Believers of God)?”

2) “There is no discrepency in these two accounts comming from different angles. Matthew was maticulous as he saw things in black and white, as any accountant or bookkeeper would. John’s book comes from a spiritual angle. I’m afraid that John, by by-passing some of the facts, has committed the sin of omission. (I don’t think it was deliberate, just that he might not have found it important or he found that part of the missing time-line not relivent to the rest of his text). There are a lot of gaps in the Gospels about Jesus’s life between 9 and 30 too. But, that doesn’t mean anything either.” -Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 01:55 PM

1) Can you be a moderate Christian and expect to please Jesus?
2) Bother anyone that Christianity needs apologists?

“God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.” -Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 06:12 PM

Ok, but who’s God shall we choose for It to be the same?

“Q: Who is the devil?
A: Satan, Lucifer, that old “Dragon”, he loves to see us in trouble (In sin), because that makes us unhappy and seperated from God.” -Posted by: PlayNice at June 25, 2006 11:56 PM

Just someone that disagreed with God….

“Constantine had the Council of Nicea meet to decide the divinity of Jesus. They decided that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. They did not decide which books would be in the canon.” -Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 26, 2006 07:47 PM

Yeah just double checked that, it’s a new area for me and I messed up. Thank you for the correction. *bow

Posted by: Guy at June 26, 2006 8:11 PM
Comment #162022

WOW! Thanks for the great discussion and education JJ, Play Nice, Novenge and everyone else. What happened to the conservative republicans when all this talk about faith and religion started up.

Posted by: mark at June 26, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #162024

WOW! Thanks for the great discussion and education JJ, Play Nice, Novenge and everyone else. What happened to the conservative republicans when all this talk about faith and religion started up.

Posted by: mark at June 26, 2006 9:02 PM
Comment #162111

JAY JAY SNOWMAN, PLAYNICE, GUY et al.

**Here’s something fun to think about, and Jay you can research this you might like it. There was a greek philosopher by the name of Anexagoras in roughly 210 BC who created a theory called “panspermia”. Meaning “seeds from everywhere”. What it was was a way to explain how life got here on earth through seeds from space that landed on earth.

>>Now here’s the kicker about Anexagoras, the oratory he provided was the very same one that Jesus used to discribe “the seeds that fall”. Jay Jay you would be familiar, “There are some seeds that fall on brambles but they don’t take—seeds that fall on dry rock and do not take root” and so on. Jesus and Anexagoras’ oratories were for the most part exactly identical—SO CONCLUSION: Anexagoras was NOT a creationist, believing in creationism. Jesus taking his oratory was taking early evolutionist theory! Next time you run into a pro-creationist Christian throw that at them if they can even comprehend it that is. The oratories are identical.

I found this in an old book from the Cambridge Club called “The Philosophical Scientists” which was a premier book explaining the possibility that there is a God through mysteries such as Hemoglobin and Thermodynamics and such, great book.

Posted by: Novenge at June 27, 2006 12:14 AM
Comment #162238

Mark,

This conservative tuned out when the faith and Bible talk started because he’s an agnostic. However, you forced me back to read the whole thread. It was most interesting read.

A couple of points I was reconsidering recently:

1) It is a time honored argument of those of us unbelievers that more lives have been lost in wars in the name of religion than anything else. I was recently thinking about that after I had a conversation with a recovering alcoholic recently. How many more lives have been saved in the name of religion than lost? No numbers to back this up, but it occurs to me that more lives have been saved in the name of religion than anything else as well.

2) The talmudic like discussion between PlayNice, JJ, and Novegne above was most interesting. PlayNice, you made some very nice points above in your posts. However, you also made some serious judgements about modern churches in the guise of Biblical interpretation. They seemed to be implicitly pointed at fundamentalist churches. This seems to go against the grain of some of your other statements. The one about truth being a personal interpretation springs to mind first.

While I understand the fundamentalist Christians are a bit scary to intellectuals (including intellectual Christians, maybe most of all), those Churches have to have something going for them. Why are we quick to judge them as insufficient? They seem to be a modern day equivilant to the Lutheran church rejecting the notion that membership in an international organization is necessary to ordain their orthodoxy. What major point am I missing?

Posted by: Rob at June 27, 2006 12:08 PM
Comment #162609

Novenge

My personal opinion is that removing the OT from the New is like Christians thinking that they are superior to the Jews, (they have a better truth, a better “Gospel”) and if Jews do not believe in Jesus, they are “going to hell”.

I believe that removing the NT from the Old is like one Jew once said to me, “What’s the matter with you Christians?” Our Bible’s not good enough for you? You got to go out and get a better one?” (It was said with just a little humor, but a little bit of superiority too - like he knew “God” better then me?).

I didn’t realise that our talks here had a purpose of removing or discrediting the OT. To me they both go together like the Movie “Gone with the wind”. Sure you can get the point by comming in at intermission, when Atlanta is burning. But, if you don’t see the whole movie from the beginning, you may loose some important points.

I think the Jews and Christians alike are missed the boat. God is the God of His people. That makes Him the God of the NT as well as the OT.

After all…Jesus always said, “you call me “good”? There is none good but God. I do nothing but by the Father, that sent me”.

If you believe the basic tenants of Christianity then you believe that the Bible is the inspired work of God. If the NT is the work of God? Then why isn’t the OT?

Posted by: PlayNice at June 28, 2006 2:48 AM
Comment #162611

Mark wrote,

“What happened to the conservative republicans when all this talk about faith and religion started up.”

EXCELLENT POINT MARK!

Posted by: PlayNice at June 28, 2006 2:50 AM
Comment #162617

Rob June 27th, 12:08

Made some excellent points in his last post.

“However, you also made some serious judgements about modern churches in the guise of Biblical interpretation. They seemed to be implicity pointed at fundaentalist churches. “

Yes, you’re right, I did. I think that Jesus himself, made some pretty good accusations against the church of his time too. (The Scribes and the Pharasees). All of the “Woe’s” that Jay quoted was about the Church in Jesus day. I only ask that you look at your church teachings today, and see if you find any similaritys? If you do not? Then you have been very wise in the word to choose a good Christian Church. But, with all the hate these days against “Gays”, the “Teaching of Evolution”, and Woman’s rights to choose what is best for their own body’s, (like even God gave us free choice over our lives, remember?) Why should God’s people/Church, try to take away what the Lord has freely given us/me? It’s not my interpurtation that I ask you to believe, I just ask you to honestly read for yourself and ask yourself by the word, does what you believe come from God/His word? Or, are you relying more on your church to interperate God’s word for you?

Churches today are popular today because they tell people what they want to hear. Not necessarily the truth, or what God wants us to HEAR, know and understand. I believe that I have an open understanding of the Bible because I studied it day and night for 3 years before I even would go into a church. I didn’t want anyone to tell me what God wanted to say, I needed to find it out for myself.

If you are “thirsty” enough, you’ll find it.

(I lasted a year in that church, that’s a pretty long time for me. Had to quit though, after that, was too “Christian” for my blood. I just couldn’t take it any more.

Most of what the church teaches today, is not founded or rooted in The Bible. And, most people fall for it, because we live in an instant society. You don’t want to do the work youself at home to cook that burger, you want to go to the drive thru window and get it NOW. I don’t think God, should be ordered in a drive up window, like a cheeseburger).

Posted by: PlayNice at June 28, 2006 3:12 AM
Comment #162623

Jay,

I hope that you are on this thread, still. Sorry it took me so long to get back. Been 2 really busy days.

Jesus came to fulfill the law. He came to interprate the law. (Of “God”) You know the 10 commandments, so put them together with what you know in the NT. Look at it like this. We have two laws. The letter of the “Law”, and the spirit of the “Law”. The “law of God” and the “law of Jesus”, are the same. One, letter, one spirit.

1. No other God’s. This means you put nothing up as God, or before God. Not money (the money changers of the temple), no your love of your own life, not your love of “worldly” things. “Put up not, your treasure…where rot,” etc.

2. No Idols. In the “Woe”s you stated, they are a perfect example of this. People put the “Church”, a statue, a golden alter, even the precious body of Jesus, and say, “this is my “God”. (Yet, Jesus never took any credit for himself. He always said, I do nothing, but by the Father that sent me. There is only one God, and he is the Lord forever. The alpha and the omega. He is the beginning and the end. “..shewing mercy unto …them that love me” The “Christian hasn’t done a very good job of that have they? I’m speaking now of modern Christians, that don’t think kindly of “God’s people”, the Jews. We should be kind to all that love the Lord. Like Jesus ministered to the hooker, the sinner, and if there were “gays” back then, he would have ministered to them too. OH sure the Christian will minister to the Jew, but only to convert him around to his way of thinking. “..for those that believeth in my name shall be saved.” and …if you believed in my Father you would have believed in me, and if you believed in me, you would have believed in my Father already. (believe/love)

3. The name of the Lord in vain… And Jesus said, “And they shall come in those days saying Lord, Lord, haven’t we done wonderous things in YOUR name, and I will say, “Get they away, for I have never known you”…..”In vain they worship me following the traditions of men”. People put up a big show today, wallowing in their “Love” for the Lord. But, Jesus said, “If you love me, feed my people, if you love Me, feed my sheep” I leave Jesus today, to judge (for only he is worthy to do so), if churches today are still “dry bones”.

4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. And the Sabbath Day IS Fri. - Sat. sundown to sundown. It was changed at the Councel of Nicea. And the spirit of that law? “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” ..and “the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath”. I believe that the “Sabbath is God’s day. The Creator’s Day. Everyday is nice, to worship him. But, it doesn’t follow “God’s Law” unless you set asside the Sabbath. Did Jesus say to break Gods Law? NO. He said, If you love me keep my commandments. And if you keep my commandments I will love you, just as I keep my Fathers commandments and he loves me. (See, these are the laws of love and freedom - both the letter and the spirit of THE LAW).

The first 4 are how to love God. The last 6 are how to get along with, and love your neighbor. Jesus said, “These are the 2 commandments, that you love God and the you love your neighbor as yourself. If you do the 10 commandments and put Jesus example of how to live, a spiritual interpurtation of the Law, (10 commandments), you have followed God’s Law, and Jesus Commandments. (they are one and the same.)

Posted by: PlayNice at June 28, 2006 3:59 AM
Comment #162630

Jay,

You refer to Matthew 12 (A house divided can not stand)

They are saying “He must be of satan, because he cast out satan.” Jesus rebukes them saying that if he were of satan, why would he cast out his own kind? (another analogy of “by their fruits ye shall know them”, if they do good, they are probably good, if evil, probably evil thinbgs they will do.) So, is it evil to cast out demons? Or good? (Answer: Jesus was doing good works)

This is the “Unforgiviable Sin”. Not cursing. Not rejecting God. But, saying that God, does evil things. Read on in the virse and you will see that this is the unforgivable sin that Christians talk about. Not “taking the Name of the Lord in vain” as some Christians think.

Jesus paid the price for all sin. We don’t have to pay the price for our sins, (any more). The “Laws” were not “nailed to the cross”, just the penalty for braking those laws WAS. Christ paid the penalty for us. Does that mean that we can just go out and sin some more, because Jesus paid our price for our sin, for us? Romans says, “God forbid”.

But the Unforgivable sin, to think or say that God is doing evil? Not even Job in all that happened to him, would say that. He continued to worship God and have faith in him. Just as we wish the best for our children, so does God wish the best for us.

Q: Can Satan tempt Jesus?
A: If Satan can tempt God into testing Job, then god can let Satan test Jesus. (Just as we are tested in our lives, every day).

Q: What is the Gospel of the Bible” (In more particular, what is the Gospel of Christ?)
A: Get a Bible, NT. It should have all the words of Jesus in RED. Read that. And you will know the Gospel of Jesus Himself. Use that as your yardstick for the rest of the Bible, and in that, you will find all the truths and meanings of the Bible. (Don’t read anything else in the NT but the red words).

Q: What good is the OT?
A: Gen. is the history of mankind, and Ex. is the history of God’s people and contains God’s laws Ex. 20.

Q: How can I better understand Gods plan for mankind?
A: Read the 2 books of prophecy. Danial and Rev. By putting Danial and Rev together, you can see God’s plan for the ages, for his people, and for the end of things to come. “Never the less, come quickly Lord.” (The last words of the Bible)

Q: How do I know if I have it right?
A: Listen to your heart.

I admire your learning in these things. You have been an inspiration.
Blessings & Peace

Posted by: PlayNice at June 28, 2006 5:06 AM
Comment #162632

On the off chance that anyone is still reading this thread, I will cut and paste a recent email.

HELL EXPLAINED :

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term.
The answer by one student was so “profound” that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well.

Bonus Question:

Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?


Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle’s variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:


First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving.

I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving.

As for how many souls are entering Hell, let’s look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell.

Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to hell.


With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.

Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:
If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.


So, which is it?
If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my freshman year that … “It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,” and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number 2 must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore extinct, leaving only Heaven, and thereby proving the existence of a divine being. Which also explains why last night Teresa kept shouting “Oh my God!!”

THIS STUDENT RECEIVED THE ONLY “A”

Posted by: PlayNice at June 28, 2006 5:08 AM
Comment #162722

wow, i think that is one of the funniest things i have heard in a long time. whoever that student is, kudos to him. it reminds me of a story i heard about how one year, harvard had an essay question for it’s incoming students: what is the bravest thing you have ever done? (or something along those lines) one student wrote two words: fuck you. they never used that question again.

on a more serious note:
“Your story about your kid in school and the rainbow comment is bogus. I’ve read the same madeup story in countless rightwing publications and blogs. You read about it somewhere else, where it was also a lie, and then rewrote it on this blog to push your agenda. This is true of countless stories about PC gone amoke, the vast majority are misrepresentations or made up stories. Nice try though.”

i think that is one of the most cynical and, quite possibly, insulting things i have heard in a long time. (interesting how two such opposites popped up in one blog and post) you have no proof for your accusation and the parania behind it is startling. even if he did make all of that up, how dare you say that with nothing to back it up other than your own, unbased, conspiracy theories? so what if he made it up? it’s a valid point, and i know that i for one have been witness to similar events. take a step back, calm down, and try to see the point he was making rather than flaring up and attacking him.

Posted by: alefnaught at June 28, 2006 12:39 PM
Comment #162894

PlayNice,

First, I don’t have a church or a faith, I’m an agnostic.

Second, you argument about churches and fundamentalism seems to be based largely on a couple of points that I want repeat to make sure I interpreted correctly: 1) Churches today are popular today because they tell people what they want to hear. 2) Most of what the church teaches today, is not founded or rooted in The Bible. And, most people fall for it, because we live in an instant society.

I’m assuming I’m correct on the above in the following paragraphs. Churches are sociological institutions. They exist in different societies to fill different institutional and communal needs. Today in America, churches seems to fill a couple of important ones that vary distinctly from the roles they play in other societies and different times in ours. First, they are the 21st century version of the extended family in our increasingly mobile country. More people in America live at a distance from their biological families than ever before. People also move more often and have fewer ties to place than ever before. The replacement for the extended family and communities for many people is the church.

For some, the belonging to the institution of a church that connects them to childhood and distant relatives is important. But increasingly, we Americans are anti-institution. The result we have many more churches that are focused on the extended family aspect. The since of community and belonging is as important as the message. So is the safey net that the church provides to their members in times of illness, death, and other major stressors. The message is less important than the community. So yes, the churches say what their parishioners want to hear.

But why do people want to hear fundamentalist messsages is the real issue. The world has become an increasingly complex place. There is more variety in belief systems, race, sexual orientation, and values than ever before. America has placed a premium on diversity, and we have been rewarded greatly with it. However, when people have to make sense of it, they turn to the source with the simplies solution and for religion that’s fundamentalism.

You contend that people fall for it because we live an instant society. That is probably true to some extent. But I think the reaility is that most people throughout history have relied on the leadership of their church for their faith. Your study is obviously a cornerstone for your faith. I can certainly relate to some degree. However, I do not believe that is the case for most people. For most people, they come to their faith in the same way they come to their education, prejudices, and fears based on what society expects of them.

Take religion out of it and replace it with what we feel is important in an education. Education experts and well-educated people can have long debates about the content of a good education and the methods for ensuring everyone receives it. However, when boiled down to the societal norm, it is that you can read, write, and do math competently. In my mind, that’s education fundamentalism.

It’s important to have people in society that are willing to push the arguments out and make sure that we are willing to change the education fundamentalism to include subjects beyond the basics. However, those people are only catalysts in the equation. It takes societal stressors that demand more than that for the basic equation to change.

The same is true in religion. It will be a rare church that today condones racism. However, that was not the case 100 years ago almost anywhere in the U.S. It was not the case 50 years ago in parts of the Deep South. Societal stressors made it impossible for that still to be the case. It is seen as unChristian. The same can be said for the gay rights movement today. I don’t think we will see mainstream churches that openly condones homophobia or homosexuals in America in 50 years, maybe not even in 25 years. The case for tolerance in religion for gays is just beginning.

The ballot initiatives in 2004 were the first step. They passed by large majorities with the supporters of the voters of both parties. However, they also started the conversation. In 5 years, there will be people ashamed of their vote.

In religion, the discussion is just getting started as well. The Episcopal church just ordained a gay bishop against the wishes of the larger Anglican community. The United Church of Christ has started advertisements featuring gay parishoners. The tolerence will come, but it will take more stressors for acceptance to get from here to total acceptance.

You mentioned evolution as well. I’m not sure that either of those will have the same degree of success. Creationism is more of a counterculture fundamentalist tool at this point. It is part of what separates them from the institutions. It will never make it beyond a small minority unless we all completely fail to safe guard our education system.

The final view was abortion. This one will be the last to fall if it ever does. There are too many in America that have mixed feelings about it to support universal, on-demand abortion. This one goes beyond the churches. I think it is a fallacy of those of us that are pro-choice to think that those on the other side come to their views purely on religious grounds. While churches certainly inform and shape some of the philosophy for those in the pro-choice movement, I believe that there are decent philosophical reasons absent religion that can inform ones decision on abortion. Views that I can empathize with but not agree.

Sorry so long. I know the thread is over, but I hope you check back. I would be interested in your responses.

Posted by: Rob at June 28, 2006 6:11 PM
Comment #163143

Rob,

There’s nothing wrong with being an agnostic, my husband is one, and that just means that you’re intelligent enough to still be questioning. Kudo’s! In many ways my husband is a much better “Christian” that I am. I am always impressed with his wisdom, his open-mindedness, and his genuine “good” heart. Some so called Christians could take some lessons from my husband, on how to be a better person.

Secondly, you nailed it right on the head of what I was trying to say. I do feel that:

1) Churches stay popular because they tell people what makes them feel good, what people want to hear.

2) Some (or a lot), of what churches teach is not rooted in scripture.

3) People fall for it because people do not want to do the work for themselves, they want God served up like fast food.

I think that churches are more important, (broader) than just a family substitute or a social connection or function. But, even if it was just a serogate “family” as you suggest, you’d have to admit that there are some families that are supportive and uplifting, and other families that are disfunctional and distructive. People do seek “comfort”. We all want affirmation, acceptance. One of the major primis of the church is to “gather it’s flock”. When people come together, they can be a support to one another (fellowsip), and a comfort, or they can become a distructive “collective”. One major example of this is in pre-WWII Germany. Cerca 1930’s-1940’s. They wanted a better life. To get out of the poverty of the 20’s that effected the entire world. Hitler made them feel superior, intitled, important, special. (He told them what they wanted to hear). We all know the outcome of that theology. When you “devalue” human beings, like the Jews in Germany, or what the church has done to the “gays” in todays Christian circles? You have a world wide, a national, a huge disaster in terms of human tole in the making.

Why do people want to hear what the church has to offer them? I don’t think that this is a complex issue. I also don’t think this is a particularly new thing either. In the NT Jesus talks about the Chruch Fathers, in terms that seam to indicate that not much has changed in the last 2,000 years. In both cases, the church worships it’s houses of gold more than the people that it is supposed to minister to. It takes good care to aquire it’s own wealth, but lets God’s people go wanting. It places itself up on the clouds of glory, in order to oppress the poor and needy and weakest of society. It lifts it’self up so that it can look down on those that will not heed it’s cause of self ordained importance. Christians feel that they are blessed because they have “God” and you are a cursed mess, because you don’t. (God’s punishment, because you’re not in the “club”). The desire to feel superior to others, the need to be part of a special group…those things have been around forever. It’s called “Pride”.

You said that most people come to their faith based on what society expects of them. Society as we know it is a great influence. However, there are always those that have a need to break away. Cut from the herd and find their own “truths”. I do not believe that this is true of most “Christians”. Most Christians do not want to “work” for their faith. They want it spoon feed to them like ice creme because it’s easier than to come to their own truths. If this were not so, then why is it that Christians preach that we should “love” one another on one hand, yet they don’t want to be in direct connection with the world that their God created? Example:

They go to church, read the Bible, even volunteer for charitable works, believe in Jesus and say that they BELIEVE in Jesus’s words. Yet they don’t want to send their children to public schools, to have “sex education” or affiliate with “gays”. They don’t want for them or their families to be “touched by sin” in any way. Yet the very person that they expouse so much (Jesus), ministered to everyone. Saint and sinner alike.

Maybe that’s why I prefer not to attend church. I just can not corralate the two. We are supposed to “love thy neighbor”, but most Republicians, Christian Fundamentalists, (that I know, some family included), they just couldn’t have cared less about the victims of Katrina. “Well, they should have gotten out like they were told to do.” “Well, the government isn’t responsible to take care of us, we have to learn to take care of our selves.” What pittle! What a crock! It’s called “Public Trust”. The government has a public trust, a sacred responsibility to take care of the people in it’s care (trust). To diligently serve the people that have put them in office. They are THE SERVENTS OF THE PEOPLE. Not the other way around. Just as Christ wants us to live in this world as servents to others, as he himself did. He did not come to rule, but to serve.

We are all expected to do what is expected of us. And some are soft and go along with where ever the wind blows. But, others march to a different drummer. Some want to “judge them by their fruits”. I see why the church is popular, and what is the big attraction. It’s just too bad that most people are looking for the fast easy way, and not willing to do the work and sacrifice necessary to come for the REAL truth for themselves.

You talk about education. See, I see the discrepencies in the “What Christians Believe”, and “How Christians Act”, as a decisive lact of education in biblical and spiritual matters. If God was offered in Jr College like “God 101”, I think that these discrepencies would be greatly reduced with scholastic study. I think that these total opposites in belief and actions can only be explained in the special arena of “spiritual interpurtation”. One of the things that has changed in the last 200 years in Christian theology has been the advent of “we are no longer under the law, but under grace” theory. In this light, each Christian becomes the author of his/her own conscience. And right is basically what you believe it is, and wrong, well….. there is no more “law”, so if you do wrong, no problem,,,,just say a little prayer and, “all better”.

This again is not “Biblical”. But, don’t tell most Christians that, they will argue with you ,like crazy. So now you’ve got a whole world of people just makeing up right and wrong as they please. (Tell me the church isn’t playing to the people to increase their numbers. If you don’t like this religion, just sit tight, another one will be along in a while). You talk about social stressors that canmake a basic equation to change. See, I don’t think that this equation will ever change. The polar opposite of what Christians say they believe in, and how they act and what they do. It won’t change because people don’t change.

You say that it is rare today to find a church that condones racism. Well, outwardly maybe. They are more subtile than that. Woman’s rights to choose, acceptace of gays, and allowing the theory of evolution to co-exhist side by side with Christian values Even if these things were to be more acceptable in church dogma, they would only be replaced by even more repressive taboos. If there is a carrot of heaven, there has to be the threat of hell. Marx said that “Religion is the opate of the masses”. All oppressive groups, faith based, the KKK, Nazi Germany, the Inquisition, Christian and Moslum, they all need a draw (we have the truth, we will make you feel better, we have a better way), and they have to have a sucessful scare tactic, and a “enemy”. With no enemy to fight, there is no campaign of recrutement, and no prolonged carrot to keep the flock enraged and working to “eradiate the evil”,. They need a collective purpose. Most collective organizations survive on fear, and a comfort from that fear, which is provided by being part of the “collective”. (You aren’t working just for you, but for a better world, for a world that “God” wants).

You talk about safeguards for our educational systems. I wish (again) that God could be taught in schools. Take the “spiritual inturpertation” out of it (which is so easy to distort and polute), and look at the meat and potatoes. (Without the spin). My beliefs are that Religion like Education can only susceed with open minded people. If your mind is shut up, you can not learn. If your heart is shut up, you can’t know God. And if you say you know God, and your heart is closed to your fellow man, then you are a lier and the truth is not in you.

About abortion. Now this one is another interesting analogy, abortion and religion. I find this another area where what they say is just the opposite of what they do and what they should be saying. A perfect example of this is what my husband says. You can take part out of the Bible here and there and make it say anything you want it to (ain’t that the truth). The Bible says that life begins with the “breath of life”. When a new born takes it’s first breath of air in it’s lungs. But, the church is calling it a baby when it’s only hours old. You are as old as the days since you breathed air into your lungs at birth, and no longer. But the church can just convienently forgo all that nasty “science” stuff, even the Bible’s interpretation of when life begins and cast up yet another monster that must be slain in the name of the “Lord”. NONSENSE! This logic isn’t Biblical. It’s not scientific. It’s not reality in fact. It is not even logical in logical human thought and reason. But, it’s a cause. It’s a emotional pasafier. The church can call a fetus a “baby” and get it’s devote’s all worked up to go out there and kill this deamon practice.

I guess that I must sound awfully jaded. But, the illogical reality of the Church-goer today…just drives me nuts.

Thanks for your post. ;-)

Posted by: PlayNice at June 29, 2006 4:12 AM
Comment #163144

Sorry, I ment to say the the church is calling it a “Baby” when the sperm and egg is only a few hours old.

That’s like saying, “My husband and I had sex last night and we called the baby Charlie”.

Why is it that when religion comes into it, all common sence goes out the window?

Just a thought.

Posted by: PlayNice at June 29, 2006 4:32 AM
Comment #163166

PlayNice,

Nice response, I have some counterpoints that I would like to make, but I don’t have time right now. If you will bear with me and check back later, I would like to continue the discussion.

Posted by: Rob at June 29, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #163179

No problem

Posted by: PlayNice at June 29, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #163562

You said,

One major example of this is in pre-WWII Germany. Cerca 1930’s-1940’s. They wanted a better life. To get out of the poverty of the 20’s that effected the entire world. Hitler made them feel superior, intitled, important, special. (He told them what they wanted to hear). We all know the outcome of that theology. When you “devalue” human beings, like the Jews in Germany, or what the church has done to the “gays” in todays Christian circles? You have a world wide, a national, a huge disaster in terms of human tole in the making.

I do not dispute that the groupthink of a collective can be destructive especially when it leads to group actions that are cruel or inhumane. However, to compare modern American churches to Hitler’s Germany is a bit disingenous. There is nothing in Modern America churches that come close to that. Those that don’t agree with ideology have the option to opt out.

Churches in America today have the best and the worst of capitalistic tendencies. You seem to have focused on the worst. A point to the best is that there is no shortage of opportunities in today’s churches to find one that matches your beliefs.

You also said,

Even if these things were to be more acceptable in church dogma, they would only be replaced by even more repressive taboos. If there is a carrot of heaven, there has to be the threat of hell. Marx said that “Religion is the opate of the masses”. All oppressive groups, faith based, the KKK, Nazi Germany, the Inquisition, Christian and Moslum, they all need a draw (we have the truth, we will make you feel better, we have a better way), and they have to have a sucessful scare tactic, and a “enemy”.

This an interesting view point. The truth is that all groups that are pushing a particular point of view have an “enemy.” The Democrats have an “enemy” in Republicans. Intellectuals have an “enemy” in “close minded people”. Btw, when Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses he was not making an “enemy” of religion per se. It was a larger argument based on his class construct. His point was that the upper classes used religion to keep the masses from revolting because there was a moral code that would prevent it. He also made a broader religious critique that “placed heaven on earth” by embedding all the traits of heaven and god in mankind as a whole.

You said also,

“My beliefs are that Religion like Education can only susceed with open minded people. If your mind is shut up, you can not learn. If your heart is shut up, you can’t know God. And if you say you know God, and your heart is closed to your fellow man, then you are a lier and the truth is not in you.”

This is a common viewpoint among intellectuals. It is some of what Marx’s criticism was aimed at. It pulls the ability to understand god and education into an arena with qualifiers. The qualifiers that you have used seem to be easy enough for anyone to reach; however, they are qualifiers none the less. My view is that we need to turn that logic on its head. The ultimate success of education and religion is the production of an open-mind. We can start with those that are closed-minded and open them up through the process of education and religion. If you exclude the close-minded from the process in the beginning, you severely limit the effectiveness of either in the long-run. Open mindedness is an empowered state. However, religion and education must also minister to the powerless. With powerlessness comes a closed mind.

And finally abortion. You hinge your argument on “The Bible says that life begins with the ‘breath of life’. The Bible also says that God created the world and everything in it in 6 days. Most Christians that I know take the second and understand it as an allegorical reference that allows for it to jib with their scietific understanding of evolution. The second could be true as well. The fetus actually does begin taking “breath of life” via the mother’s circulatory system fairly early on (but not hours). Why must this passage be interpreted litterally while others must be interpreted allegorically. As I’ve said, I’m a weak pro-Choice supporter because I believe that there is a right to privacy concern. However, as the viability of the fetus outside the womb increases, my support decreases because there is a right to life embedded in the consitution that trumps all other rights.

This is a sticky issue and one I try to avoid because I’m conflicted on it, but I have to admit that I’m more than a little impressed that there are far fewer murders in the pro-life movement. If you truly believed that mass murder was taking place wouldn’t you do everything in your power to stop it?

Posted by: Rob at June 30, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #163889

1)
You say that: “To compare modern American churches to Hitler’s Germany is a bit disingenous.” If you believe that a “group collective” can be destructive, then you should look at how Hitler devalued the Jews, and how the modern church devalues homosexuals. How Hitler’s Germany wanted to take all rights from German Jews, and how the “moral majority” today do not want any rights for homosexuals. Not the right to teach, be involved in Scouting, wed, raise children, spoucal rights, employee rights for spousal benifits, rights of medical directives or inheritance rights for “life partners”, rights to adopt..etc. In short, the same rights that the rest of the society (hetrosexuals) enjoy.

When a group of people are devalued and made to be, or feel less intitled than society as a whole, then those people are singled out as being less than human, (makeing the rest of society feel better about themselves, that they are “better” than…). so that the attrocities brought against them, are justified. In my book, “pride goeth before a fall”. And, what the modern day christian church is doing is much worse than Hitler. In that Hitler was just human, with human faults and failings. But, who can fight the army of “God”? When Hitler devalued the Jews, people had a choice to use there own collective individual knowledge of right and wrong. When it’s comming from a church, (preportedly) a representitive of “The Lord God”, it’s much harder for the human collective to fight that directive. For this reason, what the modern day church is doing to “gays”, is much more hanous than anything Hitler did.

You say that, “Those that don’t agree with ideology have the option to opt out.” Well that’s true, if you’re talking about going to this church or that church. You don’t have to go. And, you can choose any church that you wish. That would be a correct statement if it were not for the fact that the modern day “church” is not limiting their ideology to just their church enviornment.

50 years ago we had a collective non-sectarian sence of morality. “Father knows best”. Even “Star Trek” was a series of “morality plays”. But today, the church makes itself known in all facets of human life, and not in a “sectarian” way. Todays church wants every facet of human life to litterly reak, “Disney”, reguardless of others age, beliefs, political or social views. There was a local adult card shop in our local mall. It’s not there any more. It was my favorite place to shop for greeting cards. (I am an adult). I see a movie in the movie theatre, I like it, I buy it and take it home. I play the movie and all the “dirty” words are taken out. One of the best lines in “Independance Day” was, “Welcome to earth you sonofabitch”. I saw it in the theatres 8 times before I bought it. Check it out, that line has been changed, or dropped all together.

The ideology of the chrurch is in all of our lives, in every faucet of our lives today. It infulances politics, the movies and T.V. we watch, even commercials are effected by church doctrine. Advertizers are boycotted for their envolvement in certain presentations. Watch-dog groups edit or oversee programing and entertainment. Even the Supreme Court has been stacked the last 25 years with judges that lean toward the ideology of the “Moral Majority”. If you can not see it all around our lives, in every facet of our lives, just look at last Christmas. The moral majority got together to boycot Wal-Mart for saying, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Happy Holidays” (which encompasses all), to be replaced by “Merry Christmas” which only embraces a select few. I wish that the beliefs of the modern day Christian church were something I could just “opt out of”.

You say, “that there is no shortage of opportunities in today’s churches to find one that matches your beliefs”. I sincerely wish that this were true. This docturonology invades all churches. It is their nature, inheriently. If today’s “Christian” church were content to teach the words of Christ only, then and not interfer with sectarian life, (“leave unto Ceaser the things that are Ceaser’s”), then there could be a chance that, THAT church could actually be doing the “work” of the Lord. But, when churches dictate what stores can exhist, which movies can be made and in what form, what T.V shows are allowed to prosper, and what employes in stores are supposed to say? (and I could go on..;and on..and on.) Then the church has overstepped it’s bounds, to presume that they have the right and responsibility to dictate how society, as a whole, should be run. (Jesus was all inclusive, not exclusive).

Posted by: PlayNice at July 1, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #163921

2)
You said that, “All groups ….have an enemy”. That is true. However, the “church”, if it is supposed to be an emmisary of “Christ”, (hence the word “Christian”, meaning “like-unto Christ, being Christ-like, being the same as “The Christ”, etc.) should have the same qualities and present the same message as “Christ” did. In short, if you go around saying that you are a Christian, then you should believe and act as Christ did. And, Jesus said, “love your enemys as yourself”. He never once said that if you see someone not complying to “My Word” then you should correct that person, or make them less of a person for it. He told his deciples to go unto the city and share the good news, and if any man would not hear, then they were to leave the city and “knock the dust from your shoes (sandels)”. He didn’t say to stay there until you’ve brow-beat them into comming around to your point of view. I would be fine if Christian churches today would teach their flock to live a Christian life. But, when that concept of a “Christian Life”, slops over onto society as a whole? Then that is not in compliance with what Jesus’ teaching was all about.

You say that, “Intellectuals have an enemy in closed minded people”. That’s true. And, many Christians today are so closed minded that they forget that we are to “Live In The World”, “but, not be OF, the world”. That means that you must live in the world and make room for many ideas and concepts. But, not necessarily adabt the worst of those ideas and concepts into your own life. (And, don’t push your ideas and concepts onto others.) Hopefully, mature Christians know the right things to do, and inact them in their own lives, and leave the rest (of us) to God, (to deal with in His own way). (“Judge not, lest ye be judged likewise”).

You said that, “Marx said that religion was the opiate of the masses”. And that he was refering to ” a moral code” placed upon the masses by the wealthy to keep the people in control. Yes, I agree. He may have learned this by Constatine of the 4th Century. Constatine learned, or discovered, that government and religion were a perfect blend to control the masses (the people). This, (I believe) is why he converted to Christianity in the first place. “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts completely”. It’s not enough to control the people with their daily lives, (government) you have to be able to control their minds and hearts as well, (their religion, their relationship to their “God”).

You say that, “He (Marx) also made a broader religious critique that “placed heaven on earth” and “traits of heaven and God in mankind as a whole”. I didn’t know that, but this explains very neatly how the modern Christian church has gone astray.

Sure, mankind is capable of good, even great good; but, to be as God? The Bible teaches us that we are born in sin. In need of a Savior. Christ is that savior. Would we be as Him, and “save” the world? If we who call ourselves “good” had the power to change the world, there would be no need for the Cross of Christ, and Jesus’ death - it would have been in “vain”. (But, there is no end to man’s evil).

This is the same kind of self pride that Hitler tried to instill in his people (they were better than the Jews and the Jews were less than human). This is the same kind of pride that the church today adheres to in claiming that the “Law” has been nailed to the “Cross”. If the laws are done away with, there are no more guide lines, no more rules to live by. Each Christian can decide for himself/herself what “God” wants in their lives. (And, if it was just for THEIR lives,,,I’d have no problem with that!)

Posted by: PlayNice at July 1, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #163937

3)
You were talking about open/closed minds and “qualifiers”. You say, “It’s a common viewpoint among intellectuals”. I am not sure that I understand what you are trying to say. You say that this is what “Marx criticism was aimed at”.

I don’t think Marx was stating that an open mind is “good” or “bad’. Just that by using a combination of governing principals to control it’s people, along with religious dogma, the masses can be easily managed and manipulated. (Opiate) Or, druged into submission.

I do not understand the use of the term “qualifiers”. If you think that I ment that education should be exclusive, I rather ment that education should by all inclusive. Just like biblical truths are for everyone, not just the “saved”. Jesus came for the Jew and Gentile alike, for the Jew and the Greek.

As far as education being just for the religious, I believe that this is closed minded also. If Christians do not believe in evolution, that’s their right. However, Christianity can not be a equal equivilant in schools. (counter-balance) Because state and religion is a dangerous thing to mix.

In short, children can be taught evolution in school, and lean about creationism in church. Then, use their God given brain, their personal rights of choice, to think for themselves, (what’s right/wrong for them).

You are right, “education must also minister to the powerless”. However, they must minister to their charges reguardless of their or their families, religious beliefs. If anyone wants to mix the two? Which religion shall we choose to incorporate? And, if we choose to teach all religions, then what time is there for the rest of secular education?

If you are saying that there is no problem in teaching the theory of Creationism along with Evolution? Then I say that there is. Our society is of two natures, just like mankind is of two natures. There is the physical, and the spiritual. We are born of man (sin), a physical being, but we seek God, a spirit that is greater than ourselves. Our heart, goodness, our humanity, our human conscience (spirit). It is an insult and demeaning to teach God in schools. And, I do not see anything “spiritual” in trying to “bring God”, down to our level. (The spirit of God down to our physical, (secular) nature).

Jesus said, “but rather go into your closet and pray. For what your father hears in private, He will reward in public”.

Posted by: PlayNice at July 1, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #163961

4)
Abortion.
Again I have to repeat that the Bible says that life begins with the ‘breath of life’ as stated in the Bible. I can not possiably see how God’s creating the earth in 6 days enters into that analogy, in any way. Are we now, going to equate human reproduction, to the creation of God, to the creation of the earth? Human creation or reproduction takes 9 months. It is not by God’s direct hand, but by the intercourse of man (biological). Are we again, going to bring God, down to our level of understanding? You may believe that all baby’s are a “blessing from God”. And, this is true. But, if you believe that life begins at conception, then the mother of such “child” (fetus) should be found guilty of “murder” if she has a mis-carage, or still-birth. If in secular society, we celabrate our birthday from day of “live birth” as stated on our birth cirtificates, then why do not ‘Christians” then believe that when celabrating their birthday, would be each year as to their conception, rather than their actual “Birth Day”?

I think that most Christians are so embroiled in Christian dagma and so-called Christian teachings, that they forget., Christ’s world has not come yet! We are still living in a secular world. He sent his comforter “The holy spirit” to help us through this world. So that we can manage, in a world that is so much different than what the human heart knows to be “good” and “just” and fair. But we are still here. It is only the “Christ” that has gone to heaven “to prepare a place for” us.

You say that, “the fetus actually does begin taking “breath of life” via the mother’s circulatory system. My understanding of human reproduction is quite different. The fetus no more breaths in air from the mother’s cord than a fish does in water, or a plant does by osmosis. A leaf, which is part of a tree, “breaths in” sunlight. That doesn’t mean it has lungs. And, if you pluck off a leaf, do you kill the tree? If you smash a pine cone, are you not guilty of murder? A tree by the way, is a living thing. If you chop down a living thing, like a tree, and kill it, as part of some celabration (Christmas), are you not guilty of “murder”?

Both the constitution and the Bible never foresaw the advent of man’s ability to support life outside the womb earlier than 9 months, (or such time as God sees fit to bring the woman to deliver her child). So, if we look at the viability of the fetus issue, I have to believe that as the mother houses the potential for life (but not life - as yet) this is a decision that belongs to her, her doctor and her relationship (or not) with her maker. If the “church”, “state” or any other intity is allowed to interfere? Then in what area are we safe from interferance, from any one, at any time, over any thing? Where does it stop? That’s the problem with censorship. Where do you draw the line? If you know what’s better for another person, if you have a right to make their decisions for them? Then WHO IS GOING TO MONITOR YOU?

The right to life is an important issue. But, what is the criteria for life? By who’s standard is “life” judged? The Bible says that breathing in air into the lungs, constitutes life. The constitution says that everyone has a right to “life”. Allowing a mother to make her own dicision as to weather her fetus will be brought to life (full term), is a constitutional right granted the mother as she inheriently HAS life. But, not necessarily, a right of the “unborn”.

You say, “I’m more than a little impressed that there are far fewer murders in the pro-life movement.” If something is not alive it can not be killed. If someone is not living, he/she can not die. And, before this conflict came up (the ability to preform abortions), there was real common philosophy of: “you have to be born, before you can die”. (something has to be living before it can be “killed”)

You say, “If you truly believed that mass murder was taking place wouldn’t you do everything in your power to stop it?”

Yes. That’s why I’m against the war in Iraq.

Posted by: PlayNice at July 1, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #164301

PlayNice,

Bravo! Excellent description of today’s organized religion. My favorite passage about how religion/ spirituality is suppose to function is 1 Corinthians 3:

Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe-as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about men! All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

The Bible and the Church are simply the seed, only God can make it grow.

Posted by: JayJay Snow at July 2, 2006 4:31 PM
Comment #164684

Dear Jay,

I agree with your anylasis completely.

I believe that the Bible plants the seed.

And, I believe that only God can make it grow.

My problem is, that in todays church?

Someone is over-watering it.

Posted by: PlayNice at July 4, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #165182

PlayNice,

I think in general we agree on most things, but I’m less apt to criticize what gives comfort to others because frankly I don’t care what they take from their religion as long as it helps them.

But to answer some of your points:

1) We have not yet reached a point in America where the churches have anywhere near the influence that Hitler did in Germany. The religious right is a hypocritical organization to be sure, but they don’t speak for anywhere near a majority of Americans. That is my main point. If you can’t find a church that expresses tolerance and diversity, you aren’t looking hard enough. Try the Episcopal Church (the one I was raised in by the way), it just ordained an openly gay bishop. Try the Universal Church of Christ, they are advertising their congregations as being accessible and accepting of gay individuals.

As to the impact on day-to-day life, that is part of living in a free, capitalist society. Companies react to boycotts and bad press. The Christian right learned this lesson from the anti-aparthied movement of the 80’s, and the anti-smoking activities of today are similar. They have learned to be activitist. You can disagree with them, I do, but they have that right to protest.

2) Marx’s critique was not of the modern Christian church. In fact it was not a modern critique at all. It was a critique of capitalism. He put religion into the critique because he felt it was a limiter in the organization and mobilization of the proletariat. He put heaven on earth and god in mankind because he was an atheist and an existentialist. He wanted to have people follow in his foot steps and realize that the divinity is not in heaven but in mankind. He asked what are the traits of God, and answered his own question with omniscience, omnipotent, and everlasting life. He felt all of these traits were available in mankind, not in man, but in the human race. It was an interesting, if not self-serving critique. His overall goal was the establishment of communism, and he saw religion as a barrier that must be removed on the path to get there.

3) When I talked of qualifiers, I meant the idea that only certain people can apply. Your original statement was that it takes an open mind to know god, and it takes an open mind to be educated. I was stating that requiring an open mind to do either of these things is as valid to me as the 19th century qualifier that you must be white to know god or be educated. I have no use for the qualifiers. An open-mind is a product of religion and education not a entry-criteria.

4) My point on the Bible regarding abortion is that you have taken on the fundamentalist for being fundamental in the understanding of the God, for taking the Bible litteraly, yet you use a litteral understanding to inform your opinion. Understanding of the reproductive system at the dawn of the first millinia was poor at best, just as was their understanding of evolution and geology. If we are willing to set aside prohibitions against eating shellfish, disagree that the earth and all that was in it was created in 6 days, and that woman was created from man’s rib, then I’m not sure that this one is any more valid. I’m willing to set all Biblical views on Science aside for the modern best understanding.

When I said, the fetus begins breathing in the mother’s womb, I did not mean the intake of oxygen into the lungs, I meant the exchange of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide in the blood which is ultimately the reason that we take in air.

When I said, I’m surprised that there weren’t more murders in the pro-life movement, I meant that I’m impressed that the pro-life movement has not organized gangs that go after doctors and nurses that in their view murder daily. If you thought someone was a mass murderer would constrain yourself to protesting outside their office door? I believe they are doing their jobs, and deserve our thanks, and I think you do too. But empathize with the pro-life movement for a moment. Where would you be if you thought there were murders walking free amongst without punishment?

Posted by: Rob at July 6, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #165198

Rob,

Extremely interesting answer. Thank You.

Give me a little while to go over it and I will be glad to reply.

Again, most interesting.

Enjoyed your reply.

Thank You

Posted by: PlayNice at July 6, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #165414

Rob

I agree with your statement, “I don’t care what they take from their religion as long as it helps them.” And, that’s what religion is supposed to do. To help man find comfort in a “higher power”. To find hope for a better tomorrow. To find peace in a less than peaceful enviornment. As long as their concept of “God” helps them find what they need for a better life, so be it.

Problem with religion today is that it isn’t the kind, introspective, benevalent and self-reflective, support system of the past. Yes, religion has always been used for war, for wealth, for power. And, now I see this happening in history, again, in the history of the present.

Fine, if Christianity helps you get over the death of a loved one. Fine, if Christianity helps you live a better life. Fine, if Christianity helps you become more charitable; more loving; more forgiving. But, the things that are happening today in the modern “Christian” Church are not any of those things (unless they are for youself, your family or friends, and the people that accept the teachings YOU believe in). The modern day Christian church is exclusive, not inclusive.

Examples of this are in our daily life, all around us.

1) The movement to put back the Bible and Prayer in schools. (Exclusive theology, not inclusive theology).

2) The movement to prevent homosexuals from having equal rights. (“For all men are created equal”. (Bill of Rights, Constitution). But, the “Church”, would have some, … more equal, than others).

3) The movement to prevent women to make decisions over their own body’s, in matters of abortion. Also, the use of birth control. (Even though God, the Creator of us all, gave us free will, to decide for ourselves ,which is “right” and which is “wrong” ….. for our own lives, as to our own understanding).

4) The movement to either stop the teaching of evolution in public schools, or to incorporate the addition of “Creationism” into public schools. (Another case of exclusivity, and not including all realms of human thought and learning.) *

*The Christian church seams to think that there is no room for “science” in a “christian world”. Similar to the role of the Catholic Church and the “Dark Ages”. That it has to be, one —- or the other, either a scientific world, or a “Christian” world, and that the two can not co-exhist. However, there are many man of science today, that are in fact “Christian” and see no conflict between the two.

***********************************

I am not saying that being a “Christian” is “bad”. On the contrary, if you are a REAL Christian, that is supposted to be a “good” thing. I am only makeing a distinction between an idividual Christian consciencousness, and the collective Christian agenda. An agenda that is bent upon seperation, and not unity, (of man-kind). A collective mind-set of “us vs. them” mantality. An agenda that, I see, has very great similarities to —— the Muslim extremests.

You put the Muslim religion, a people, and a government (politics) together, and you see what you have. You put the Christian religion, together with Christian extremists, and a people, and a government (politics), and you see what you have.

You have a repressive system, whereby the people are meer puppets of a higher collective. (“Religion is the opiate, of the people”). A governing body that has “religion” in it’s hip pocket, can not only control it’s peoples minds, but their hearts and souls as well.

Oddly enough, this fly’s in direct conflict to most of man’s religious convictions. But, this control is subtle, it is invasive, it takes time, but it is very, very effective, once it comes into fruition. This IS THE SAME, mind-set, that Hitler used against the Jews. This is the same, “us against them” mantality. To demonize the Jews, and set the “Christians” against them?

This made it acceptable for “the final solution”. (A very Un-Christian, act).

continued………

Posted by: PlayNice at July 7, 2006 11:32 AM
Comment #165513

Looking forward to the continuation…

In response to this post, I think the main difference of opinion I have is that I’m just not that scared of the religious right.

I’m not scared for a few reasons:

1) They don’t speak for all Christian churches, not even the majority. There is no real collective Christian agenda.

To date, they have for the most part limited their political involvement to hot button issues where they have some overlap with mainstream Christian denominations and can appeal to a broader spectrum of society. Abortion springs to mind first. The conviction that the religious right is matched by the conviction of many hardline Catholics on this issue as well as some that come to their views on the subject from completely secular grounds. Similarly, their views on homosexuality are shared by over half of the population if you look at the gay marriage votes in States in 2004. This includes many self-described liberals who voted for Kerry in the election. If you look at the results of those elections, the number of votes for the ammendments far outpaced the number of votes for Bush, and there was at least a small minority of Bush voters that voted against the ammendment. People come to their prejudices against gays from many backgrounds not just religious ones. What they bring to these issues is not so much voters as it is organization.

The evolution vs. creationism debate is the first where they have stepped out behind an issue without a majority of public opinion behind them. Predictably, it has not taken hold with a broad majority of voters. I don’t believe that they will lose broader support for all their issues if they push too far on issues that they alone support.

There are already churches that are beginning to organize to publicly denounce the opinions of the fundamentalists on these issues. They will push harder the more the religious right continues to be seen as speaking for all Christians in ways that the broader group does not agree.

2) The critique of the religious right is flawed in the same way that Marx’s critique of 19th century capitalism was flawed. It is a single dimension critique. Just as members of 19th century society did not define themselves solely by their economic standing, parishoners today do not define themselves solely by their religion. They also define themselves by their occupation, where they live, their family, and their political beliefs. When citizens step into voting booths they bring a wide variety of influences to their vote. They make the choice on more complicated grounds than just religion.

3) The religious right and the Christian church in general is just not that organized to be able to seize control of the government. They seem organized by 20th century religious standards; however, they pale in comparison to the Catholic church of the 17th and 18th century Europe. The divine right of kings ensured that papal authority was necessary to secure the kingdom. Henry VIII bucked that when he wanted a divorce and the importance of the church has been on a decline in regards to political matters ever since.

The religious right is for the most part limited to single issue campaigns in the same way that the Audobon Society and the Sierra Club are. The reality is that we won’t see the Democratic Party adopt a platform resembling the Green Party anytime soon, nor will the Republican Party adopt a platform that will completely resemble the “Faith Party” anytime soon. The two party system in America reject radicalism from either side and prevents real radicalism in the form of new parties from gaining more than token support.

4) Their is a real fear in most Americans of being seen as too religious. It is part of our manners that we don’t talk about religion in polite society. We not only have a political separation of church and state, we have a mores sepration of church and society. When people talk about religion with non-members of their church, they talk about what denomination they belong to, when they attend church, and who their friends are. They don’t talk about their spirituatlity or beliefs. That is seen as impolite. The religious right is starting to cross that line in the same way that the prohibitionists did in the early 20th century. I believe if they push too far, there will be a backlash. I firmly believe that the introduction of the gay marriage ammendments on ballots in 2004 was a big step forward for the overall cause of gay marriage. It was the first step in getting people to admit their prejudices. Once people have admitted them, they have to either embrace them completely or start to consider whether they really believe that. I think people will come to their senses on this in the same way that people in the South have come to their senses on racism. My reality is that people are basically good, and given time, they adjust to new societal norms like gay rights.

In short, I believe that we will continue to discuss school prayer, gay rights, abortion, and evolution and creationism. There may even be one or two new issues that the religious right trots out. But they will continue to be a minority and those issues will only really take hold if they appeal to broader societal prejudices or a broader Christian base that is willing to support that issue. I also believe that the opposition on gay marriage and other issues will wax as time passes, and the christian right will continue tilting a windmills in the political arena until they realize that they have been deluded by their prejudices.

Posted by: Rob at July 7, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #166279

Thank you,
Will reply later.

Posted by: PlayNice at July 10, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #167039

Rob,

1) They don’t speak for all Christian churches, not even the majority. There is no real collective Christian agenda.

I have to dissagree with you on this. In my whole debate with you, the underlying thread is that the so called “Christian Movement” today is seeking to change minds, and hearts of society as a whole. If you look at our society in the United States pre 1980’s, you will see a multitude of people, a collective as it were, that were pretty content to “live and let live”. The Moral Majority started to pretty much cut their political teeth in the 1980’s and have gained in-roads into politics, and society as a whole. The social norms, the social conscience has changed since then. This blend of religion with politics has set the Republician party up as the party of Morality, of Ethics, a perfect picture of “family; God; and country”. At the same time, because Democrats do not fall into this picture of “God-on their side”, they have become the public picture of the party who has no morals, sides with “gays”, and the rest of “immorallity” society, who’s political representitives have not only no morality, but no direction. This is a hard social image to overcome.

I don’t mind the social/political disadvantage so much, as I object to the general lie of such an agenda. I see that the Christian agenda has scewed the truth so much, that it’s hard for people to actualy see “the truth” any more. The actual truth of so many issues, has been obscured by these 30 sec sound bites. And, people seam to want both their politics, and their religion, as if they are ordering a burger from a drive through window. They see an issue, they see the 30 sec. sound bite, “that looks good, we’ll go with that”, (and the lie continues). I guess that if it’s accurate, in our busy lives, wouldn’t mind so much. But, when it actually is 180 degrees from center, I find that extremely disgusting.

Example:

* Looking down on others because they are “less moral”, than you. Aids; abortion; homosexuality; birth control; the morning after pill…etc. and, many other issues. Whereby, the actual truth of the Bible is that Jesus spoke many times on this subject. He went among all the people, those that were considered “Godly” and those that were societies “lower than low”. (Usually the “Godly” people rejected Him, and the “lower than low” usually accepted Him. It is for this reason that I really believe that if Jesus were alive today, He’d be a Democrat :-)).

He stepped in to help the “Adulterous woman”, he healed the leper. (There’s a real corrolation here between what the church of Jesus’ day thought about lepers, and how the modern day church feels about aids/gays, today). Even Mrs. Bush (the elder) when talking about the Katrina victims, mentioned the word, “class”, when refering to the people of New Orleans.

2) Just as members of 19th century society did not define themselves solely by their economic standing, parishoners today do not define themselves solely by their religion. They also define themselves by their occupation, where they live, their family, and their political beliefs.

Yes. That’s why the “Moral Majority” is so dangerous today. With the blend of religion, economics, politics, and everyday “family values”, many issues at the poles are scewed again into this false reality. A perfect “opeate” to appeeze the people, and keep them in this make believe fog.

Example:

* Occupation: Is it moral for a country to allow major businesses to outsource it’s labor over-seas, while all the time breaking the backs of Unions here at home? Is it moral for the government to look the other way while illegals occupy jobs here at home as jobs are lost to legal Americans, and welfare and unemployment relief are considered “allotments” that are to be vigorously cut? Is it moral for a government to raise it’s own salaries, while minimum wage remains at, or below the poverty level?

* Where we live: Is it moral to stop work on a major Gulf Coast levy, knowing that there is a great possibility that a Catagory 5 is just around the corner (with Global Warming - that you also deny, and ignore), and then when a “natural desaster” finally does come, promise help that you know will never happen? Is it moral to stop funding for terrorism to protect major cities with real targets, and instead frund terrorist funding for rural America, for places like funeral homes, bowling allies, and coffee stands? Is it a moral imparitive to ignore real security concerns about “Alkita” in 2000, and be so aloof as to keep reading to a classroom full of kids, while plains level the Twin Towers in N.Y.?

* Family: Is it moral to interfere with a family’s right to make medical decisions concerning their loved one’s. Is it really moral to interject yourself into a family tradgety, between husband and wife, between doctors and patient? Between a Court and it’s patitioners, because you, (the Government/people) don’t like the outcome? (As in the Terri Chivo case). Do we really think that it’s “moral”, for the “State” to determine our medical care, what appropriate medical care for us, for our family? Is it moral for a State or a Government to determine what constitutes a “family”? Who has a right to raise children, or who does not? Who has a right to marry, and who does not? Who has a right to adopt a child and give it a loving home, and who does not?

* Political Beliefs: Is it moral to attack a country that has never attacked us, while you let a political leader, who has attacked us, walk free? Is it moral to spy on Americans without due process of law, under the guise of “terrorism”, and violate our rights of privacy? Is it moral to out a CIA operative, because her husband writes contrary articals, debunking your assertions about WMD, and questioning your political agenda, to invade another country? Is it really moral, to close a governments treasury to needed public programs that will help this country’s people, while opening the same treasury doors wide, to private contractors who gut it, for their own gain? Is it morally right, and a prudent and proper economic stradgety to save 2 billion on levy’s in New Orleans, and then spend 200 billion on private contractors to bull doze it down?

In short, there isn’t one moral, prudent, economically feasible, ethical, truthful, decent, righous, upright, fair, or truly “Christian” thing that this Administration has done since it has come into office in 2000. (And you can add the word “Constitutional” to the above too.) And now we find that even the “faith based” works of charity, has been questionable. (Texas)

Yet, the 30 sec. sound bites prevail — sadly over the true interests of the “people”.

3) The two party system in America reject radicalism from either side and prevents real radicalism in the form of new parties from gaining more than token support.

That’s what the founding fathers thought too. But, they didn’t know about the “moral majority”. (Which is anything —- but moral). In America today, we see the Constitution stepped on and circumvented more and more each day. And, it’s all done in the name of “Fundamentalism”. We look to the voice of reason, which used to be the Democratic Party, and what do we see? People cowering in the corner, trying to defend it’s self against “Christianity” and “Moral Concepts” or we see the people that are in the back pocket of big business too, like the majority of Republicans, or we see the lone soilders like Jack Murtha, and Kerry, that are being demonized because of their military strengths. In politics of the past, an opponent would work on your weaknesses and demoralize you. Now, in the very sucessfull politics of the present, the Republicans are not only united, but they work on their opponants strengths, to break down their credibilities. How else could a coward like GW get credibility as “Commander in Chief”, and become a hero, while a real hero like John Kerry, (who actually did serve in Viet Nam) becomes a coward and a lier.? How else could a war in Iraq, “bring peace”? And, how can makeing you unsafe from government spying make your safer?

(And, here’s the really wierd part. None of these right wing, moral majority, gun toteing christians have put this together yet :-) But….. If the gun lovers don’t want guns registered, because of “the right to bear arms”? And, their party (many are right-wing Republicans…) is engaged in illegal spying, without “just cause”, and without search warrents? And, if most gun owners feel, as they say, that one of the rights to bear arms to protect their family, and so that you won’t be overthrown by the government, or foreign envaders?…Then hey, you do the math! If our government is spying illegally on millions of people, don’t you think they might just be looking for gun owners too? Just a thought :-)

But to get back to your arguement…..we don’t have a two party system any more. We have a one party in control system, and when that happens, there are no checks and balances. Even if Democrats were to take token control next time? That really doesn’t mean much. Will they have enough control to get things halfway back, before the next Republican reign of terror begins anew? And, with the public conscience being changed every day into more and more “moral majority” thinking points, will we ever return to a “live and let live” society? Or, are we doomed to be a “Christian” State, as parts of the Mid-East are Muslim States? ( I see little difference in Christian extremists and Muslim extremists. It’s just that the Christians have not resorted to physical violence yet….that is unless you want to count Iraq; or, if your talking about genocide,,,…New Orleans. And, oh yea, and maybe the occasional abortion clinic ).

Continued…….

Posted by: PlayNice at July 13, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #167058

4) We not only have a political separation of church and state, we have a mores sepration of church and society……I firmly believe that the introduction of the gay marriage ammendments on ballots in 2004 was a big step forward for the overall cause of gay marriage……..I think people will come to their senses on this in the same way that people in the South have come to their senses on racism. My reality is that people are basically good, and given time, they adjust to new societal norms like gay rights.

A) Seperation of Church and State: First of all, this is a relatively new thing. Dateing back to the 1960’s (when prayer was removed from the public school system). The moral majority came into effect in the 70’s to counteract this, and has been working on it ever sence. Their main objective is to get the Bible back into schools, and public prayer back into schools and other public events. This is solely, of course, a “Christian” endevor and exclusive and with disreguard to other faiths and forms of religion. I wouldn’t be too comfortable that this state will continue however (seperation of church and state). As, 5 out of the last 7 Administrations have been Republican, and those Administrations have been very sensitive to the “Moral Majority”, who has been very effective in changeing the public conscience and public mores in this country. Also, do not forget that the U.S. Supreme Court has 8 out of it’s 12 judges that have their seat, thanks to these Administrations.

B) Don’t be too excited about gay marriage either. It was just defeated in two states, the other day. A further testamony that a lie repeated, and 30 sec. sound bites and a few effective talking points, and fear and predjust, can be very powerful to persuade a people, into actually doing the wrong thing, in the name of doing the “right” thing.

C) I hope that you are right. That people are basically good and will see gay rights as the form of racism that it is. But, it will take a Government, a People, and an Administration, that is far removed from this one, to see the light. The moral majority is very strong and has made considerable in-roads in the hearts and minds of the people. I too believe that people are basically “good”. I know that they want to and mean to do the right thing. But, I also know that they are basically helpless with they are individually confronted with big business and big government. And, especially that government that is non-responsive to the “people’s” needs as well as pandering to the needs of big business. We think that as a people, as a free people, as a free Democratic People, that our voice will be listened to. That we have imput. That we have a voice.

The last two Presidential Elections, has deswaded me from that nievity. There seams to be problems with voting machines in Florida and Ohio. My state just went to absentee voteing only, all write in, mail in ballots. I’m in a Republician State. Who will be counting the ballots? And, does it really even matter any more?

D) And, as for Slavery, that you eluded to. Slavery had to fall to the way-side. It was wrong and the conscience of man dictated it so. I’ve had similar talks on blogs like this one about the rights being denied homosexuals and the rights denied the slaves of the past. I find that some of these so called “Christians” so no connection at all. While they freely admit that denying a black person his/her rights due to color might be wrong. They stand fast in their beliefs to “gays”. After all, being “gay” is a choice. And, while God probably doesn’t have anything against black people (in their mind), God most deffinately does have something against gays, (in their mind). I think the last arguement I had of this nature, was someone said, “well in this country, the majority rules, so if you don’t like it, you should take your gay as-to another country….(I’m not gay - but I did like the suggestion). So, therefore the crux of the argument is that if the majority think it’s right, then it’s right. Kinda like slavery. I just couldn’t get over the fact that some people, actually think that if most of the people think it’s “ok”, then it’s OK, to do. “Majority Rule”.

How far have we come, as a society, when the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and even the (REAL) principles of the Bible, don’t mean anything any more? It’s just all fodder for political football.

In conclusion, I wish I could be as hopeful as you are about our future. I too believe in the basic goodness of people. I think people want to do the right thing. I just think that sometimes it’s hard to know what is right and what is wrong. Especially when right and wrong have been turned upside down like it has been, in the present state of affairs.

Where you bring peace, by going to war. (Iraq) Where you are a protectorate of the people by makeing them help themselves. (New Orleans) Where you honor the “Public Trust” by ignoring the danger of a foreign envader.(N.Y/Osama Ben Lauden). Whereby you stand up to fiscal responsibility by squandering the publics money on private contractors. When you protect you people by invading their privacy.

It’s just too much. GOOD is made bad, and Bad is made good.

Where else but America, could you scream to the roof-tops about the murder of the unborn, yet not raise a whimper about the slotter of the born, the living, in an unjust foreign war of your own makeing ? (Iraq)

Where else but America, could you stamp and scream to protect a stem cell, (something that is not even a life, or a potential for a life without heroic intervention); and, you would protect that silly cell, and let millions of actual people suffer and even die because of your misguided loyalty to a silly, lifeless, useless, cell.

Where else but in America, could you pay $3.00 for gas, some $76.00 a barrel for oil, and not even think about the American blood that has been spilt for that gas, (Iraq) or the profiteers that make their dirty blood money from all that oil (Haliburton), but yet mearly some 8-10 years ago, when oil was only $22 a barrel, all we wanted to talk about was Monica’s dress??? And, we think about our selves as a “moral” Nation.

When good is bad, and bad is good,,,,,,,

I’m not all that hopeful.

:-(

Posted by: PlayNice at July 13, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #168253

PlayNice,

This response I’m not so sure about. You seem to have side-stepped by entire response in favor of listing a litany of things that you don’t like about the administration and Christian fundamentalists.

I never implied that they would not try to do things that you don’t like and even occasionally succeed. I rather tried to explain why I don’t think there will be ulitimately successful. I took the long-view, you seem to be writing to the short-term issues.

That said, one specific critique. In your first post, you spend a lot of time criticizing actions taking by the Administration as immoral. I believe that you did this to counteract the impression or claim that their actions are guided by morality. However, I think you should be more careful about your phrasing. You are buying into their game. When actions are evaluated by either side based on notions of morality, you are conceding that it is ok to do so. This actually empowers those that want to evaluate actions based on morality (the Christian Right) because you have conceded the terms of evaluation to their vocabulary, now the rest of the debate is left to individual interpretations of morality which ultimately leads to a fundamentalist victory because they are rock-steady in their convictions while those of that thoughtful are willing to consider that we may be wrong.

As to the individual litany of issues you posted, I agree with you on some of these things and disagree with you on others, but they are too specific to address here without hijacking this discussion from one about to approach to the political process to one about specific issues. Besides, most of the issues that you listed are have been and will be addressed ad nauseum here.

I suppose that this will conclude our discussion on this topic. Let me say that I have enjoyed it. And now for my one piece of scripture for the thread:

4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

4:16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who,
when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time:
afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake,
immediately they are offended.

4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the
word, 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of
riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and
it becometh unfruitful.

4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear
the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some
sixty, and some an hundred.

There are all kinds of Christians in America as well as many other faiths. Some hear the words, some live the words, and some reject the words.

In America all of these are citizens and all of them make their own decisions about what part the word will play in their lives.

We’ll be fine, we’ll disagree on many issues, but the end of the American experience is at hand.

Posted by: Rob at July 17, 2006 2:22 PM
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